Usman Garuba

Spanish basketball player (born 2002)
Usman Garuba
Garuba with Spain in 2019
No. 12 – Golden State Warriors
PositionPower forward / Center
Personal information
Born (2002-03-09) 9 March 2002 (age 22)
Madrid, Spain
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight229 lb (104 kg)
Career information
NBA draft2021: 1st round, 23rd overall pick
Selected by the Houston Rockets
Playing career2017–present
Career history
2017–2021Real Madrid
2017–2019Real Madrid B
2021–2023Houston Rockets
2021–2022Rio Grande Valley Vipers
2023–presentGolden State Warriors
2023–2024→Santa Cruz Warriors
Career highlights and awards
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Destiny Usman Garuba Alari (born 9 March 2002) is a Spanish professional basketball player for the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Listed at 2.03 m (6 ft 8 in), he plays at both the power forward and center positions.

Garuba was born in Madrid, Spain to Nigerian parents and joined the youth academy of Real Madrid at age 11. In 2019, when he was 17 years old, he became the youngest starter in Real Madrid history. In the 2020–21 season, Garuba was named EuroLeague Rising Star and ACB Best Young Player. He earned most valuable player (MVP) honors at the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship at age 14. In the 2021 NBA draft, he was selected by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd overall pick.

Early life and youth career

Born in Hospital 12 de Octubre in Madrid, Garuba was raised in the neighborhood of Villaverde Bajo (Madrid) and the municipality of Azuqueca de Henares (province of Guadalajara).[1][2] He grew up playing football, his original passion, but switched to basketball because his exceptional height limited his success in the former sport.[3] Garuba idolized former NBA player Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.[1] In November 2011, he joined Escuela Municipal de Baloncesto de Azuqueca (Municipal Basketball School of Azuqueca), where coach and coordinator David Serrano helped him start his basketball career and where he earned the nickname of "La pantera de Azuqueca" ("The Panther of Azuqueca").[2]

In 2013, Garuba joined the lower categories of Real Madrid. He stood 1.89 m (6 ft 2+12 in) and weighed 81 kg (179 lb) by the time he was 12 years old.[4] In 2015, Garuba helped his team win the Minicopa Endesa, an under-14 Spanish club tournament. He debuted by posting 24 points and 16 rebounds in a win over Valencia.[5] In the following year, Garuba led Real Madrid to another Minicopa title and was named MVP of the competition.[6] He averaged 22.8 rebounds per game in the tournament, grabbing 32 against Joventut Badalona in the final.[1]

In February 2018, Garuba gained his first Adidas Next Generation Tournament (ANGT) experience with the Real Madrid under-18 team at the Munich qualifying tournament, after missing the previous edition with a quadriceps injury. He was selected to the All-Tournament Team, despite being one of the youngest participants.[3] In the final tournament, Garuba averaged 12 points and 6.5 rebounds per game and was named ANGT Rising Star.[7] In January 2019, he was named MVP of the ANGT Munich tournament after averaging 16.5 points, seven rebounds and 3.8 assists per game.[8] Garuba helped Real Madrid win the final tournament and joined MVP Mario Nakić on the All-Tournament Team.[9]

Professional career

Real Madrid (2017–2021)

In the 2017–18 season, Garuba played for Real Madrid B, the reserve team for Real Madrid in the Liga EBA, the fourth-tier league in Spain. In 11 games, he averaged 11.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.[10] In the 2018–19 season, he continued to primarily play for Real Madrid B, averaging 14.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.5 blocks per game over 22 Liga EBA appearances.[11][12] On 28 October 2018, at 16 years and seven months of age, Garuba debuted for Real Madrid in the Liga ACB, the first-tier league in Spain, against Miraflores. He became the youngest center in ACB history, surpassing José Ángel Antelo, and the third-youngest Real Madrid debutant, behind Luka Dončić and Roberto Núñez.[13]

In the 2019–20 season, Garuba became a full-time member of Real Madrid's senior team. In his season debut against Joventut Badalona, at 17 years, six months and 19 days of age, he eclipsed Dončić as Real Madrid's youngest-ever starter.[14] On 29 September, Garuba recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds in a win over Murcia to become the youngest player with a double-double or 10 rebounds in ACB history; Dončić had previously held both records. He was also the second-youngest player to post an efficiency rating of 24 in the ACB, behind only Ricky Rubio.[15] On 30 October 2019, Garuba made his EuroLeague debut, recording 12 points, four rebounds, three steals, and a Performance Index Rating (PIR) of 20, against Bayern Munich.[16] He finished the season averaging 4.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 15 minutes per game in the ACB and EuroLeague and was an ACB All-Young Players Team selection.[17][18]

On 22 December 2020, Garuba recorded 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and 25 PIR in a 91–62 win over Alba Berlin.[19] On 18 April 2021, he posted 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 101–92 victory over Joventut Badalona.[20] Garuba won the ACB Best Young Player Award and was named to the ACB All-Young Players Team for his second straight season.[21] On 29 April, he recorded a career-high 24 points, 12 rebounds and 30 PIR, leading Real Madrid to an 82–76 win over Anadolu Efes in game 4 of the EuroLeague Playoffs.[22] Garuba earned EuroLeague Rising Star honors after averaging 3.9 points and four rebounds per game in the competition.[23]

Houston Rockets (2021–2023)

Garuba with the Rockets in 2023

In the 2021 NBA draft, he was drafted by the Houston Rockets with the 23rd overall pick during a run in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He made his 2021 NBA Summer League debut in a 92–76 loss versus the Toronto Raptors where he went scoreless along with six rebounds and one steal.[24] On 16 August, he officially signed his rookie contract.[25] On 5 October, he made his preseason debut off the bench against the Washington Wizards in a 125–119 loss with five points and a rebound in six minutes of action.[26] On 26 January 2022, the Houston Rockets announced that Garuba had undergone successful surgery to repair his fractured left wrist and was expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.[27]

On 8 July 2023, Garuba was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in a five-team trade.[28] Four days later, he was traded once again to Oklahoma City Thunder alongside TyTy Washington Jr., Rudy Gay and a 2026 2nd round pick in exchange for Patty Mills[29] and on 21 August, he was waived by the Thunder.[30]

Golden State Warriors (2023–present)

On 25 September 2023, Garuba signed a two-way contract with the Golden State Warriors and their NBA G League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors[31] and on 14 April 2024, he signed a standard contract with Golden State.[32]

National team career

Junior national team

Garuba made his junior national team debut for Spain at the 2016 FIBA U16 European Championship in Radom, Poland. He was named MVP after leading his team to a gold medal and averaging 16.3 points, 12.4 rebounds, and a tournament-leading 2.9 blocks per game.[33] A 14-year-old and the second-youngest player in the tournament, Garuba became the first player from a lower age group to ever win MVP at the event.[3][34] After recording 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in the final against Lithuania, he joined Dario Šarić and Ricky Rubio as the only players in history with a triple-double in the final of the tournament.[35]

In the summer of 2017, Garuba was unable to return to national team duty because he was recovering from a knee injury suffered earlier that year.[3] At the 2018 FIBA U16 European Championship in Novi Sad, Serbia, he averaged 16.3 points and 12.3 rebounds per game and led Spain to a silver medal, earning a spot on the All-Star Five.[36] Garuba helped Spain win a gold medal at the 2019 FIBA U18 European Championship in Volos, Greece, joining his teammate and MVP Santi Aldama on the All-Star Five after averaging 15.6 points, 12.9 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.[37]

Senior national team

In 2021, Garuba played on Spain men's national basketball team at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan[38][39] which were delayed by one year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While there, he was drafted as the 23rd overall pick by the Houston Rockets during the 2021 NBA draft.[40]

Career statistics

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high


2021–22 Houston 24 2 10.0 .432 .250 .714 3.5 .7 .4 .5 2.0
2022–23 Houston 75 1 12.9 .486 .407 .617 4.1 .9 .6 .4 3.0
Career 99 3 12.2 .475 .367 .630 3.9 .8 .5 .4 2.8

Personal life

Garuba's parents are from Benin City, Nigeria but left to escape conflict in their hometown. After initially moving to Brussels,[41] they settled in Madrid in the 1990s without work permits.[42] His father, Mustapha, works for manufacturing company Bimbo in Azuqueca de Henares, and his mother, Betty, works for the Azuqueca employment program.[2] Garuba has one younger brother, Sediq (b. 2004), and a younger sister, Uki (b. 2010).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Gonzalez, Raquel (27 July 2019). "¿Quién es Usman Garuba? El madridista que manda en Europa". Diario AS (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b c del Río, César (4 November 2017). "Usman Garuba, la perla del Real Madrid de baloncesto que salió de la cantera del Azuqueca". (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Hein, David (29 April 2018). "Garuba finally shines for Madrid at ANGT". Euroleague Basketball Next Generation Tournament. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  4. ^ "El "muro" gigante de 12 años del Real Madrid". Marca (in Spanish). 28 May 2014. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  5. ^ "El coloso infantil del Madrid es la sensación de la Minicopa". Marca (in Spanish). 20 February 2015. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Usman Garuba es el MVP Movistar+ de la Minicopa Endesa". (in Spanish). Liga ACB. 21 February 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Rytas guard Sirvydis named ANGT MVP". Euroleague Basketball Next Generation Tournament. 20 May 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Garuba named MVP of ANGT Munich". Euroleague Basketball Next Generation Tournament. 27 January 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  9. ^ Hein, David (11 February 2018). "MVP Nakic of U18 Real Madrid leads Munich all-tourney team". Euroleague Basketball Next Generation Tournament. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  10. ^ "Real Madrid II Statistics - Spanish League". Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  11. ^ "Real Madrid II Statistics - Spanish League". Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  12. ^ "La semana mágica del MVP Usman Garuba". (in Spanish). Spanish Basketball Federation. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Usman Garuba, el pívot más joven en debutar en la Liga Endesa". (in Spanish). Liga ACB. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Garuba becomes Real Madrid's youngest-ever starter". Real Madrid Baloncesto. 28 September 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  15. ^ "Liga Endesa ¡Histórico Garuba! Supera los récords de precocidad de Doncic y Ricky Rubio". Marca (in Spanish). 29 September 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  16. ^ Zachari, Antigoni (31 October 2019). "17-year-old Usman Garuba made his EuroLeague debut count". Retrieved 2 November 2019.
  17. ^ "Mejor Quinteto Joven El Corte Inglés de la Liga Endesa 2019-20". (in Spanish). Liga ACB. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Usman Garuba Player Profile". RealGM. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  19. ^ "El Real Madrid gana con el mejor partido Euroliga de Garuba y otro recital de Tavares". Gigantes del Basket (in Spanish). 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  20. ^ "El coloso Usman Garuba se asoma al top 15 del draft con su mejor partido en la ACB". Marca (in Spanish). 19 April 2021. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  21. ^ "Usman Garuba, elegido Mejor Joven de la Liga Endesa 20-21". Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 26 April 2021. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  22. ^ "Real's déjà vu rally evens series with Efes!". EuroLeague. 29 April 2021. Retrieved 29 April 2021.
  23. ^ "Rising Star Trophy winner: Usman Garuba, Real Madrid". EuroLeague. 14 May 2021. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  24. ^ "Houston vs. Toronto - Box Score - August 12, 2021 - ESPN". Retrieved 16 August 2021.
  25. ^ Patin, Trevor (16 August 2021). "Rockets Sign Usman Garuba". Retrieved 23 June 2023.
  26. ^ "Wizards vs. Rockets - Box Score - October 5, 2021 - ESPN". Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  27. ^ Joshi, Hiren (27 January 2022). "Rockets Medical Update - Usman Garuba". Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  28. ^ "Atlanta Hawks Acquire Usman Garuba, Tyty Washington Jr., Future Draft Picks and Cash Considerations". 8 July 2023. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  29. ^ "Thunder Acquires Usman Garuba, Rudy Gay, Tyty Washington Jr. and 2026 Second-Round Draft Pick". 12 July 2023. Retrieved 13 July 2023.
  30. ^ Hill, Arthur (21 August 2023). "Usman Garuba Waived By Thunder". Retrieved 22 August 2023.
  31. ^ "Warriors Sign Center Usman Garuba to Two-Way Contract". 25 September 2023. Retrieved 26 September 2023.
  32. ^ "Warriors Convert Usman Garuba to Standard NBA Contract". 14 April 2024. Retrieved 14 April 2024.
  33. ^ "Usman Garuba claims MVP award to lead All-Star Five". FIBA. 21 August 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  34. ^ Schmitz, Mike (22 August 2016). "FIBA U16 European Championship Scouting Reports". Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  35. ^ "Garuba happy to finally be back with his 2002 generation". FIBA. 16 August 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  36. ^ ""I told the coach to draw the last play up for me," says MVP Prkacin". FIBA. 19 August 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2019.
  37. ^ "Unstoppable Aldama headlines the All-Star Five of the FIBA U18 European Championship". FIBA. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 13 October 2019.
  38. ^ "GARUBA Usman - Tokyo 2020 Olympics". Archived from the original on 6 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  39. ^ Herbert, James (29 July 2021). "2021 NBA Draft: Spain's Usman Garuba, the best defender in the class, realizes two dreams at Tokyo Olympics". Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  40. ^ DuBose, Ben (3 August 2021). "Usman Garuba, Rockets to work on contract buyout with Real Madrid". Archived from the original on 3 August 2021. Retrieved 6 August 2021.
  41. ^ Sáez, Faustino (30 September 2019). "Garuba, tras la estela de Doncic y Ricky Rubio". El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  42. ^ Mucha, Martín (8 December 2016). "Los nuevos hermanos Gasol". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 October 2019.

External links

  • Usman Garuba at
  • Usman Garuba at at the Wayback Machine (archived 20 September 2021)
  • Usman Garuba at Olympedia
  • Usman Garuba at
  • Usman Garuba Alari at FIBA
  • Usman Garuba Alari at the Comité Olímpico Español (in Spanish)
  • Usman Garuba Alari on Instagram
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Spain squadEuroBasket 2022 – Gold medal