Since 2012, Jahlil Okafor’s talent has shone bright enough to compete with the sheen on the wood flooring of the basketball court, never mind other players. Since his professional selection at the 2015 NBA draft, he has played with different teams with his current franchise – the New Orleans Pelicans – being his third.
Jahlil Okafor was already very much a hot prospect before he was old enough for high school, thanks to his talent and towering height. He played only one year of collegiate basketball before signing for the Philadelphia 76ers in 2015. However, he had already won enough awards – including the 2012 FIBA Under-17 World Cup MVP – to stake his claim as a true hoops hero in the making.
Jahlil Okafor’s Bio
The American was born in Fort Smith, Arkansas on December 15, 1995. Jahlil has always been freakishly tall, an attribute that saw him stick out like a sore thumb among his classmates and peers. Due to his family situation, he moved around a few times. He initially attended Rosemont Elementary and subsequently Whitney Young High School.
Jahlil Okafor was embroiled in some controversy when he was illegally recruited by a men’s basketball team in his early teens. He was in eighth grade at the time. Throughout his time at Whitney Young, Okafor crossed milestone after milestone. His speedily improving game saw him touted as the best college basketball player after his freshman season, second only to Jabari Parker. ESPN ranked him as the third best player in the class of 2014 on August 2011.
His sophomore season built on his success as he was part of many mentions including the Class 4A All-State first team, second team All-State team, Class 4A second team and Underclass All-Americans (ESPN). These recognitions included quite a few by the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association.
The hoops player continued to record points and record a myriad of rebounds and blocks that saw him become a part of Sports Illustrated’s “Future Game Changers” list in June 2012. On February 15, 2013, the player’s stellar performance saw Whitney Young clinch the Public League Championship. As a result, he was named to the 2013 All-Public League first team.
After an even more successful final season where he was named Player of the Year by different bodies, Jahlil Okafor joined Duke University where he immediately staked his claim to the team as the Preseason Player of the Year according to CBS Sport, NBC Sports, and other sports networks. At the end of the campaign, he was named the ACC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year (the first freshman ever to win it) having won six ACC Rookie of the Week awards among other achievements. This would be his only year with Duke as he soon declared his intention for the 2015 NBA Draft.
During the exercise, Jahlil was picked third overall by the Philadelphia 76ers. The team started the season in abysmal fashion recording the worst start in the history of the NBA. Besides a few off the court shenanigans, an injury and a suspension, Okafor did enough to earn a spot in the 2016 NBA All-Star Game weekend Rising Stars Challenge and also NBA All-Rookie first team honors.
For the 2016–17 season, he experienced slight injury and minute caps that sidelined him for a few games. After missing a significant part of the next season, he was finally traded to the Brooklyn Nets a week before his 22nd birthday. He played a few games for the team starting on his birthday. However, he became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season after which he signed with the New Orleans Pelicans on August 9, 2018.
Jahlil Okafor has also enjoyed his time playing for the US National basketball team. His represented the country at the Under-16, Under-17, and Under-19 levels. He was the MVP for the U17 FIBA Competition and saw the United States clinch the gold. At the U19 World Cup, he led the tournament in field goal percentage and was part of the All-Tournament team.
Family: Dad, Siblings
The NBA guard was born to Chukwudi “Chuck” Obika Okafor and Dacresha Lanett Benton. When Jahlil was a kid, he split his time between staying with his mom and dad. However, while he was at his mom’s place at the age of 9, she developed bronchitis and passed away in the space of two weeks, leaving him to be raised solely by his dad and his aunt, Chinyere Okafor Conley.
Through his parents, he has an older sister Jalen, and two younger brothers, Jamonte and Ashondre.
Jahlil gets his sports genes from both parents who were basketball players. Both had basketball scholarships to Carl Albert Star College in the same period. His dad had already played for two colleges before his time at Carl Albert.
Who is Jahlil Okafor’s Girlfriend? Daughter
Jahlil who has Nigerian roots thanks to his grandfather is dating Lauren Oglensky. Lauren is a native of Philadelphia and a 2014 graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in Communications. She is currently a cyberspace bikini model as evidenced by her photos all over cyberspace. Jahlil Okafor has no child from her or any prior relationship.
Height and Weight
The New Orleans player’s height had always been his most noticeable attribute. He matched his father’s height of 6 feet 5 inches while he was still in seventh grade and had tacked on an extra 2 inches before the end of the following school year. The freakishly tall baller stands at an adult height of 6 feet 11 inches (2.11 m) and maintains a weight of 125 kg (275 lbs).