A newcomer to the Korean Basketball League (KBL) this season, Goyang Sono’s substitute foreign player Chinanu Onuaku, 28, has become a hot topic in the league. Fans have criticized him for his unorthodox behavior that has shaken up the team and the league.
Sono, who took over Dayone last off-season, have been in the bottom half of the table since the start of the season. Injuries to key players have hampered them, and they’ve used up their foreign substitute card in the first half. 텍사스홀덤 Onuaku was one of the first substitutions.
Onuaku, who played DB for Wonju four years ago, did not leave a good memory. After re-signing for the 2020-2021 season, he failed to arrive on the promised date and his contract was terminated and he was suspended from the KBL for two seasons.
Since returning to the KBL last November with Sono, Onuaku has averaged 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 31:51 minutes in 19 games. With the league’s best shooter, Jeon Sung-hyun, and new ace, Lee Jung-hyun, out with injuries, Onuaku has been a “one-man show” for SONO.
But it’s not just his performance that makes him stand out. On several occasions during the game, he was seen getting annoyed with his team’s performance and ruining the mood. “Are we going to win the championship with this lineup?” “Why don’t we have this player?” “Sign that player?” He has been known to express his dissatisfaction with the lineup. These are arrogant remarks that cross the line into common sense, even if they try to pass them off as the passion of a foreign player. When Diyonte Davis, who had been playing as a “substitute” after joining Onuaku, complained, Sono sent him off. It’s Onuaku’s world.
Then came the “Abando incident. Onuaku pushed his opponent Lens Abando, who was jumping from under the basket, to the ground during a match against Chungkwanjang on March 28. The fall left Abando with a fractured back and a concussion. Despite the violent and unnecessary foul, no sanctions were imposed at the time of the game, and two days later, the KBL held a financial committee and fined the team 3 million won.
However, the fine is controversial as similar cases in the past have resulted in heavy penalties, including suspensions. There have even been truck protests in front of the KBL headquarters. Amidst accusations of lacking a genuine apology and a sense of partnership with his opponent, Sono continues to play with Onuaku. On the 2nd, they defeated the leading DB behind Onuaku’s 20 points and 15 rebounds.
Abando himself is preparing legal action against Onuaku. The situation is expected to escalate.