Born in Los Angeles, raised in Nigeria, the 24-year-old Chimezie Metu stands at 6’10”, 225 lbs. Ahead, I will cover the prep/college and professional career of Metu, as well as my takes on the impact he can have on the Sacramento Kings in the future!
Metu has made the most of his opportunities with the Sacramento Kings. Chimezie has appeared in 28 games this season for the Kings, while averaging 10 minutes, 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds per game.
In the eyes of the Sacramento Kings front office and general manager Monte McNair, Metu has earned a spot on the Kings. As of 4/28/21, Metu inked a three-year deal with the Sacramento Kings. The Kings front office sees Metu as a piece to help in their push to end a 15-year playoff drought … the longest streak in North American pro sports, to my knowledge.
Chimezie Metu was born in Los Angeles, CA but at the age of 6 would move to Nigeria with his dad. Metu would visit his mother in LA every summer, but living in Nigeria really made a lasting impression on Metu.
“Living in the area I did in Nigeria, [I saw] a lot of poverty and people struggling. It kind of pushed me. I didn’t want to be in that situation,” Metu says.All 6’11” of Metu Could Be Headed to the NBA
Metu had a successful high school career at Lawndale HS in southern California, where he was named a John R. Wooden Award winner as the CIF Southern Section Division II Player of the Year in 2015. As a senior in high school, ‘Mezie’ averaged 18 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks per game.
Metu played three seasons at USC, and increased his productivity each season in the NCAA. During his three seasons at USC, 2015-16 through 2017-18, Metu started in 71 of 104 career games. During his junior season, Metu averaged 15.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game.
Metu earned multiple awards during his collegiate career, including:
|2016-17 All-Pac-12 – 2nd Team|
|2016-17 Pac-12 Most Improved Player|
|2017-18 All-Pac-12 – 1st Team|
|2017-18 Wooden Award – Preseason|
The former USC Trojan was selected in the 2nd round (49th overall) of the 2018 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs. While in San Antonio, Metu was often utilized as a ‘two-way player’, splitting time between the Spurs G-League affiliate in Austin and the NBA squad in the Alamo city.
Link to Chimezie Metu G-League stats with the Austin Spurs, affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs.
In two seasons with the Austin Spurs, Metu appeared in 51 total games, 41 as a starter. In that time, Metu averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.5 blocks per game.
After spending two seasons with the San Antonio Spurs organization Metu was signed, released, and then signed again two days later by the Sacramento Kings, at the end of 2020.
Metu has made the most of his opportunities with the Sacramento Kings. Chimezie has appeared in 28 games this season for the Kings, averaging 10 minutes, 5.1 points, 2.5 rebounds per game.
Metu was selected to be a member of the Nigerian national basketball team, which competed in the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Cup, hosted by China. Team Nigeria finished 17th overall, out of 32 nations, which qualified them for the next summer Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan, scheduled for summer 2021!
Future Impact on the Sacramento Kings
Patience, power, pace are three words that come to my mind when I see Chimezie Metu play. In my opinion, Metu’s game is akin to a swiss army knife. He can do a lot of things, decently well. While he won’t be a ‘franchise changing’ starter for the Kings, he may play a crucial bench role. That’s a Kings bench squad that’s been lacking the last few, or 15 seasons …
Metu runs the pick and roll well. He does this by using his ‘pace’ to help lure defenders into the correct areas of the court, in order to open up driving lanes for his teammates or to free himself up on the roll for an easy catch and FLUSH.
Metu has also shown the ability to finish on the fast break when he is dished the rock by one of the Kings many talented scorers/ball handlers.
He has also displayed the ability and confidence to take and hit the mid-range jumper. That confidence alone helps set up the pump fake and drive to the hoop.
Around the rim, Metu has a mix of patience and POWER. Metu has shown he can play ‘controlled’ and not be like the Tasmanian devil cleaning the gym in the ORIGINAL Space Jam, like many really ‘athletic’ players often are. But when necessary, Metu can use that athleticism to drop step and rock the rim with power that sends surges from downtown Sactown to the Folsom Dam!
It will be fun to see how Metu is utilized alongside a HOPEFULLY re-tooled Sacramento Kings roster for the 2021-22 season! How can he fit in next to Richaun Holmes, Marvin Bagley III, and other Sacramento Kings ‘big men’?