The Denver Nuggets continued their summer plans by hosting another round of pre-draft workouts Friday at Pepsi Center. Denver welcomed a mix of lottery picks and potential summer league candidates, most notably UCLA’s T.J. Leaf and University of Texas product Jarrett Allen.
One of the less-hyped names present on Friday was local product Emmanuel Omogbo, but the Colorado State standout is confident his game is ready for the professional ranks.
Omogbo, 22, made national headlines following the tragic deaths of his parents along with his niece and nephew due to a fire that took place in January of 2016. While the events shook Omogbo, he managed to continue with his basketball career at CSU, averaging a double-double in the 2016-17 season with 13.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per contest.
With his college career over, Omogbo is looking to take his game to the professional level. The dream he’s striving for continued on the hardwood of the Nuggets practice court Friday.
“I think everybody knows what I do best,” Omogbo said. “Now [it’s] just showing I can put the ball on the floor, shoot the three; and I have been working on that all summer.”
“I’m getting some really really good information. Like I said, teams known what I can do. I don’t try to do things that I am not capable of doing. I’ve been working on my game, working on my shot, getting to put the ball on the floor more and stuff …. I bring good intensity.”
Omogbo’s game is one that will need work regardless of where plays his ball at the next level. As it stands, Omogbo is projected to go either in the second round or not get drafted at all.
Omogbo is a solid all-around prospect that excels at inside scoring and rebounding, two are the Nuggets could use help. He certainly has plenty of things to work on within his game, but Omogbo has the tools to find a home at the next level of play.
This past season, Omogbo was selected to the 2017 Mountain West All-Conference Team due to his dominating season which ended up with him re-writing some records within the school’s basketball history. Last season he set the record for most defensive rebounds in a season (272) and ranked second in single-season total rebounds (373). In addition, his 20 double-doubles ranked within the top-20 nationally, setting a new school single-season record.
Overall, Omogbo has had an impressive college career; however, his remarkable stats and playing ability have not resulted in the national recognition that usually follows the game’s top prospects. Omogbo doesn’t care. He knows what he brings to the court and is waiting for his opportunity.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m probably the best rebounder in this draft that nobody’s talked about,” Omogbo said. “I feel like I can be the next Dennis Rodman for which team I go to.”
While his future with basketball is still unknown, Omogbo has the heart and demeanor of a champion. The Nuggets are in need of versatile forwards, and with Omogbo’s name flying under the radar, Denver could look to draft him in the second round or wait and see if he goes undrafted to attempt to snag him for their Summer League roster.
Regardless, Omogbo has the talent and the heart to play at the next level. Wherever he does settle, he will be valued with the potential to blossom into a solid professional basketball player.