Where Are They Now? / Nov 3, 2009 / 2:00 pm

Where Are They Now: Ndudi Ebi

Ndudi Ebi

Even nearly four years after he was waived from the League, it’s still difficult to look past the pure raw talent and mass potential that was Ndudi Ebi.

Chosen 26th in the 2003 NBA Draft out of Westbury Christian in Houston, the slim and lanky Ebi was projected by many as next Kevin Garnett. Minnesota selected Ebi with its only first-round draft pick during a three-year span due to contract violations with Joe Smith and the League’s salary cap limit.

In high school, every collegiate powerhouse from Duke to Texas recruited Ebi. After his senior season, in which he averaged close to 23 and 12, Ebi signed a LOI with Lute Olson at Arizona. At 6-9, Ebi was a top-5 high school talent amongst a class that included Chris Paul, Luol Deng and that LeBron James guy.

The hope of Kevin McHale and the Timberwolves’ front office was that Ebi could transcend his game and slim physique—he entered the league at 200 pounds—and become a dominant force. His potential coming out of high school was something similar to that of Chris Bosh. The problem for Ebi was that Minnesota never gave him an opportunity to develop.

As with most young project-big men, Ebi needed minutes and experience to further push his skills and develop into the banger Minnesota hoped he would become. During his rookie season, coach Flip Saunders only managed to toss Ebi into 17 games; where he averaged 0.8 ppg. Ebi then only played in 2 games during his second year while averaging 13.5 points and 8 boards in garbage time. The Wolves declined to keep Ebi for any longer and parted ways with their young forward after the 2004-2005 season.

After being cut by the Timberwolves, Ebi caught on with the Mavericks’ training camp roster and participated in five preseason games before being waived.

He has yet to make a comeback into the NBA. For every James and KG that comes into the League, there is an Ebi to counteract that success.

Ebi took his game overseas and through a tour of Israel and Italy after the NBA. His last known hooping whereabouts were for club Carife Ferrara in Itlay, now a home to Luke Jackson.

For a player like Ebi, who had GM’s salivating over his ridiculous upside, there has to be a balance for success. If given adequate minutes and an opportunity to develop, Ebi might have become the star many projected he would be. Then again, he might have wasted that opportunity and become a clone of Patrick O’Bryant.

Follow Jack on Twitter at @jensenjack.

Follow Dime on Twitter at @DIMEMag.

Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • BRUCE

    I listened to a HOF, worked on my game.

    My game grew but my height didn’t!

  • Kobeef

    That press conference looks like it was filmed in my office’s lunchroom.

    The Crabs??…bad, bad name.

    Ebi reminded me more of Darius Miles or Hakim Warrick coming out of High School. He should have went to school.

  • Ducky The Truth

    The jump aint 4 everybody.. growin up in Houston everyone and their mom was on this guys nuts…

    @ 2: I agree… Shoulda went to school

  • Patrick

    I am from AZ and when I saw this dude in the McDonald’s game I couldn’t wait for him to be on campus at U of A, but you can’t argue with a financial opportunity. In his brief stint in the NBA he made 2.7 M$US. Just like Bradford not coming out of Oklahoma last year or to a lesser extent Matt Leinart not leaving USC you have to follow that money. When you are 17 you can always get hurt or just as likely be discovered to not have the skill to back up the height and the hops.

    I definitely would have put off college to go make 3 million dollars.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nbadraft/d03/story?id=1573071

  • http://www.petsocietyhelp.com Pet Society Help

    Hope he’s saving that little money he does have and not end up like antoine.

  • bballinca

    #4 $3 million dollars isn’t that much money in the scheme of things. After taxes, agent fees, union dues etc he should be lucky to have $1.5 million. Now if you can live the rest of your life off that amount of money from the time that you are 22 years old more power to you.

  • ERIC

    $3 mm is a hell of a lot of money to make for anyone, let alone a 22 year old. his NBA dream didnt work out, but apparently he is overseas where he is most likely earning a few hundred thousand, a number 99% of Americans do not reach.

  • The Real Tyrone

    Who be dis cat?

    True thugs NEVER lie.
    The REAL Tyrone

  • KCL

    Haha the stupid twolves drafted this kid cuz he shut down lebron in a workout haha definetly talent tho

  • Gunner J. Matthews

    He got drafted to the wrong team. I like these flashback columns cause they give me a clearer picture on how these players didnt workout in the league instead of me rushing to judgement

  • Young Lebron 23

    Um…Hakim warrick played all 4 years at syracuse

  • jlee9

    when i decide to get my retro on iplay NBA live 04. Ebi is RIDICULOUS on live 04. like I think they programmed him to have like an 84 inch vertical.

  • haslem

    yeaaa Ebi BEASTS in NBA live 04 blocks shots like its nothing!

    Ebi
    Eddie Griffen
    Felipe Lopez
    Im serious play with them on NBA live 04 they will beast ANYONEEE

  • Justin Solomon

    I still have the honor of having an Ebi #44 T-Wolves alternate road jersey in my closet. I always thought dude was going to blow up and am not a fan of J J Barea for making the last cut with the Mavs in 06. Ebi and Barea battled for the last spot and their careers couldn’t be on more of a different path. At least Ebi is still making bank to ball though.

  • Bill Walton

    i saw his ass at the Life Time Fitness in sugar Land, TX. Dude sucks nuts, getting balled up by kids half his age and half his size.

  • Brown

    He chased $3 mill, but if he went to school and developed his game and his body, he could be making that annually right now. This is the perfect example why the league has an age limit. I wouldn’t be opposed to raising it another year to 20, but I doubt that will ever happen.

  • Big Sia

    Croshere > Lopez