Former UConn star Emeka Okafor “determined” to return to NBA

New Orleans Hornets center Emeka Okafor (50) talks to reporters during the New Orleans Hornets NBA basketball media day at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

(WTNH)–He was arguably the best player in college basketball in 2004, when he helped carry Connecticut to a national championship.

Injuries took their toll on Emeka Okafor, but the 34-year-old, who was recently medically cleared to play basketball again, is “determined to return to the NBA,” according to the Associated Press’ Jon Krawczynski.

Okafor has been dealing with a herniated disc in his neck, and has had issues with back spasms throughout his career.

He last played in the NBA in 2013 with the Washington Wizards, averaging 9.7 points and 8.8 rebounds in 26 minutes per game.

The 6-10 center played nine seasons in the league from 2004-13, after being taken with the second overall pick by the Charlotte Bobcats in the ’04 draft. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2005, after averaging 15.1 points, 10.9 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.

Okafor averaged a double-double in each of his first five seasons in the league.

Krawczynski said that he has already been in touch with some NBA teams. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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