Chukwudiebere Maduabum, better known as Chu Chu to the few people familiar with him before Adam Silver read his name on the ESPN broadcast of the 2011 NBA Draft, was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 56th overall pick. Maduabum will be sent to the Denver Nuggets in a trade, which makes sense as general manager Masai Ujiri originally discovered him.
Maduabum, a 6-foot-9 power forward out of Nigeria, was completely off the radar before being acquired by the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League late in the season. He remained off the radar once joining the D-League, too, appearing in just three games for a total of 20 minutes after joining the team on March 19.
Maduabum scored two points on four shot attempts and blocked three shots while in the D-League. In the two plays of his archived on Synergy, I can confirm that he has a jump hook that doesn't look terrible and finished on a nice pass with a lay-up while being fouled.
That's it. That's all I know about him. That's all anybody knows about him aside from Brian Levy, Director of Player Personnel for the Jam.
Levy, a great basketball mind, went to Twitter with his thoughts on Wednesday night after I mentioned his former player.
If Biyombo is a poor man's Ibaka, is Chu a homeless man's Ibaka? This is what I think about at night.
Chu is a great kid by the way. Hard worker. Thru Jam trainer Tim Difrancesco, discovered the weight room & protein. Gonna be a specimen
A lot to be said about a kid who just now has facilities to workout and a steady diet. Plus he just turned 20 years old.
I think @ScottSchroeder would define that as at least the potential for #ridiculousupside. Thanks for sparking these last 4-5 tweets.
Maduabum is the third player drafted straight from the D-League, following in the footsteps of fellow second round picks Mike Taylor and Latavious Williams. Jamine Peterson was also eligible to be drafted this season, but he apparently impressed NBA general managers as much as he impressed your's truly.
Tonight we're all Chu Chu!