Former Nigeria men’s basketball star and current head coach of Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka, has been named the NBA Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for February.
The NBA confirmed this on their verified Twitter handle.
Udoka is now the first rookie head coach in Celtics history to take home the award since K.C. Jones in 1984.
Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder was named Western Conference Coach of the Month alongside Udoka.
The Boston Celtics walked away with a 9-2 record in the month of February, including a nine-game win streak that began in January and into the next month (seven straight wins to start February).
This marked the second-best record of any team in the month, behind only the Jazz (8-1).
In addition to the second-best record, Boston Celtics finished the month with the best defensive rating (101.4), the eighth-best offensive rating (116.5), and the top net rating (15.1).
Udoka’s defensive style has improved throughout the season and has now helped the Celtics skyrocket up the standings.
They began the month with a 27-25 record and ended it 36-27. They currently sit at sixth in the East and are tied with the Cleveland Cavaliers for 5th in the conference.
Udoka represented Nigeria at the 2005 and 2011 FIBA Africa Championships, winning a bronze medal in both tournaments.
He was also part of D’Tigers squad that took part at the 2006 FIBA World Championships.
On June 28, 2021, he was hired as head coach of the Boston Celtics, becoming the first head coach of African origin in NBA history.