CANMORE, Alta. — The NJIT Highlanders are slowly starting to take over the NBL Canada.
Earlier this week, former Highlander Tim Coleman inked his first professional contract, signing with the 2016 NBL Canada champion Halifax Hurricanes.
Now, one of Coleman’s teammates from last season will be his counterpart in the NBL Canada.
Guard Robert Ukawuba, who played four seasons with the Highlanders from 2013 to 2017, was selected by the Windsor Express with the 16th selection in the second round of the 2017 NBL Canada Draft. Ukawuba took part in the Draft Combine over the weekend, and left his mark with the staff of the Express.
That makes two Highlanders coming north of the border in less than a week.
In 2016-17, Ukawuba averaged a career-high 25.0 minutes per game as a senior, while appearing in all 30 games for the Highlanders. He finished fifth on the team in scoring with an average of 7.9 points per contest, which tied his career-high mark.
Ukawuba averaged 7.9 points per game as a junior in 2015-16.
As a senior, the 6’4” Ukawuba shot 45.3% from the field. He shot career-lows from the free throw line (61.1%) and from three point range (23.9%), but he still has the shooting ability to hit from distance, as evident by his previous three seasons.
In 2014-15. Ukawuba’s sophomore season, he shot 42.5% (17-of-40) from beyond the arc. The next year, his numbers dipped slightly, but he still shot 32.9% from three point range.
At 6’4” and 210 pounds, Ukawuba brings size and skill to the back court rotation for the Express, who are coming off the 2016-17 season that saw them finish at 22-18 overall.
– T. Bennett