(Photo of Jordan Nwora: Jeff Hanisch - USA TODAY Sports)
MILWAUKEE - To say the Milwaukee Bucks were short-handed in their 102-96 loss against the New York Knicks on Saturday would be an understatement. Due to various injuries, former NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, former All-Stars Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday, and starter Donte DiVincenzo were all out.
However, that led the way for former Louisville men’s basketball star Jordan Nwora to make his first start in the NBA, using the opportunity to showcase his long term potential in the league.
The 6-foot-8, 225-pound forward put up 21 points on 7-18 shooting, and hauled in 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, setting career highs in both categories. He also connected on a career-high four three-pointers on eight attempts.
“The biggest thing for me going into this was being confident, that was my first time in a while where I played a lot of minutes,” Nwora said after the game. “Just keeping confident, playing with my teammates, and really just having fun and enjoying the moment.”
The Buffalo, N.Y. native has been somewhat limited this season. He was sent down to the G-League at the beginning of February, where he played in one game before spraining his ankle. The Bucks recalled him soon after to nurse to injury, and he returned to the court on Mar. 20 against the San Antonio Spurs.
Milwaukee selected Nwora with the No. 45 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft last November. Through 14 games in his rookie season with the Bucks, he is averaging 5.4 points and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 41.0% from the field and 48.0% in three point attempts.
During his junior year at Louisville, Nwora led the team in points per game with 18.0 and was second in rebounding with 7.7, while also shooting 44.0% from the field and 40.2% on three-point shots. He was honored as a First Team All-ACC selection and Third Team AP All-American.
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