Christian Koloko: From Basketball Without Borders to the NBA

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Cameroon's Christian Koloko in action for ArizonaChristian Koloko has been picked by 2019 NBA champions Toronto Raptors

Cameroon's Christian Koloko was one of three African-born basketballers picked in Thursday's NBA draft as he was selected by the Toronto Raptors.

The 22-year-old was the 33rd pick in the draft, with Senegal's Khalifa Diop - who will play for the Cleveland Cavaliers - the 39th while DR Congo's Yannick Nzosa was chosen by the Washington Wizards at 54.

Douala-born Koloko took part in the 2017 Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Africa Camp in South Africa and the global one a year later.

He will join compatriot Pascal Siakam at the Raptors as well as the team's president Masai Ujiri, who has also been a director with BWB Africa.

The annual BWB camps bring together some of Africa's most promising talent and is described as a "basketball development and community outreach programexternal-link [which] unites young basketball players to promote the sport and encourage positive social change."

Koloko's performances at the BWB camp saw him move to the United States to finish his schooling before joining the University of Arizona to play college basketball.

Meanwhile, Senegalese Diop, 20, moves to the NBA having played in Spain for Gran Canaria since 2017.

He becomes the first Senegalese to be drafted since Atlanta Hawks star Gorgui Dieng, who was selected 21st overall in the 2013 NBA Draft.

Nzosa, 18, also moves from Spain where he had been playing for Unicaja Baloncesto Malaga.

He is set to come up against compatriot Jonathan Kuminga, who helped the Golden State Warriors win the NBA championship in his first season, when the 2022-23 season tips off in October.

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