Monday, March 31, 2008

Ekene Ibekwe Signs in France

Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) has signed with Besancon Basket Comte Doubs of the French Pro-B league. Here is Besancon's press release about the signing (translation). Excerpted from their story:
Sylvain LautiƩ wanted to quickly find a player to replace Adam Waleskowski, who will be out with an injury for at least 8 weeks; he has done that with the arrival of Nigerian Ekene Ibekwe (2.06m, 100 kg, 22 years). This young Nigerian international player out of the American University of Maryland previously played in Israel for Gilboa (11 games, 18 min, 61% shooting, 5.3 rbds, against 1.1 and 11.3 pts). He is an athletic player, and he presents an interior and defensive profile similar to Waleskowski. Ibekwe left hurriedly from Israel following an incident with residents of Gliboa who allegedly threatened him.


So that's an interesting nugget at the end about Ekene leaving Israel due to threats from area residents. I can't find much more about the details of this. The Besancon press release's reference link takes you to Eurobasket, which only notes:
(Market News, Feb. 12, 2008) - Nigerian forward Ekene Ibekwe (206-F-85, college: Maryland) decided to leave Gilboa/Afula without notice after an off-court incident with locals which scared him, and made him leave the country immediately.


The Besancon team site also links to this video of Ibekwe playing for the Nigerian national team and dunking on Dirk Nowitzki during the 2006 FIBA world championships:

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