Ime Udoka

Ime Udoka – Early Life and NBA Coaching Career

This post contains everything about Ime Udoka, including his personal life, career, and rise to stardom.


  • A native of Akwa Ibom, Nigeria, born on August 9, 1977, in Oregon, Portland, US
  • Attended Jefferson High School
  • Father to Kez Sunday Udoka
  • Head coach at Houston Rockets

Join us in the read as we talk about Ime’s biography.

Who is Ime Udoka?

Ime Sunday Udoka is an NBA coach and former basketball player. He is the head coach for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has played in over ten clubs and represented the Nigeria national team as a basketball player.

Ime stopped playing basketball and began coaching in 2012. He is currently the head coach of the Houston Rockets.

His net worth is approximately $12 million.

Personal Life (Early/recent)

Ime was born to a Nigerian Father, Vitalis Udoka, and an American mother, Agnes Udoka, in Portland, Oregon, on August 9, 1977. His father is from Akwa-Ibom in Nigeria, while his mum is from Illinois in America, so he grew up with diverse cultural background.

His father was an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs for nearly a decade, and his older sister, Mfon Udoka, made waves as a basketball player in the WNBA team, making the Udoka’s family one of sporty excellence. His elder brother, James Udoka leads a private life.

Before enrolling in the University of San Francisco, Ime attended Jefferson High School in Portland. He later transferred to Portland State University.

He had a relationship with actress Nia Long in 2010, and by November 2011, the couple welcomed their first son, Kez.

Ime Udoka with NIa Long

After being together for four years, Nia and Ime became engaged in June 2015. However, on December 6, 2022, she broke up with him because he had an improper intimate relationship with a female Celtics staff member.

Career and Rise to Stardom

Ime started playing basketball during his high school days and later played for Utah state university Eastern. He subsequently played for the University of San Francisco and transferred to Portland State University, where he played for the Vikings.

He briefly played for Fargo-Moorhead Beez and Club Sportivo Independiente in 2000 and 2001, respectively, after being undrafted in the 2000 NBA draft.

His professional basketball career began when North Charleston Lowgators drafted him for the 2002 NBDL. He played his first professional match as a substitute against Denver Nuggets on January 14, 2004, when he joined Los Angeles Lakers.

Later that season, he returned to Charleston Lowgators for some time before he moved to Europe that same year for a brief period with Gran Canaria and JA Vichy. When he returned to the United States that year, Fort Worth Flyers selected him as the third overall pick in the 2005 NBDL Draft.

The New York Knicks signed him on April 6, 2006; He played eight games with the team before another waiver in September 2006.

Afterward, he joined the Portland Trail Blazers training camp before the 2006-07 season. Despite his father’s death during the preseason, Ime impressed the coaching staff with his skills and made the team. He started in 75 games with the Trail Blazers that season, playing an average of 28.6 minutes per game and averaging 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds.

Ime Udoka pic

The San Antonio Spurs team signed him from 2007 to 2009. He resigned with the Trail Blazers to begin as a free agent in 2009 but was waived in October.

In November 2010, Ime returned to the Spurs but was waived in January 2011 after playing about 20 games.

Later, Ime signed with the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets), in December 2011. However, he was waived less than ten days later.

He rounded off his playing career with UCAM Murcia in Spain in 2012.

Ime’s first experience as head coach was at Boston Celtics. He joined Boston Celtics on June 28, 2021, and led them to the NBA Finals that year.

On September 22, 2022, the Celtics suspended him for the entire 2022/23 season for violating the team’s policy. His offence was having an extramarital affair with a female Celtics staff member. He apologized after his suspension but refused to resign voluntarily from his position as head coach. Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla took his place as the interim head coach. On February 16, 2023, Ime’s time with the Celtics ended when Mazzulla was named the team’s permanent head coach.

On Monday, April 24, 2023, the Houston Rockets hired Ime as their head coach.

In his first press conference as the team’s head coach, Ime Said he felt much more remorse and spent his last offseason working on himself in many different ways.

National team career

Ime played on the Nigerian national team. He led Nigeria in scoring, assists, and steals at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.

He earns $500 thousand yearly, and his current net worth is $12 million.

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