40.4k readers

Famous Athletes from Nigeria

Updated June 14, 2019 40.4k views823 items

List of famous athletes from Nigeria, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Nigeria has seen some very talented athletes over the years, many of who have gone on to represent their country in the Olympics. These are some of the best Nigerian athletes of all time, so if you're a native of Nigeria and are aspiring to compete in sports professionally then these are people you should look up to. If you're searching for a particular popular athlete from Nigeria then you can use the "search" box to find who you're looking for.

List features athletes like Mercy Nku and Emmanuel Anyanwu.

This list answers the questions, "Who are the greatest Nigerian athletes?" and "Which athletes are from Nigeria?"

You can click on the names of these legendary athletes of Nigeria in order to get more information about each one.
  • 1
    Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon (; Yoruba: [olaɟuwɔ̃]; born January 21, 1963), formerly spelled (& still pronounced as) Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player. From 1984...  more
  • 2

    Emeka Okafor

    New Orleans Hornets
    Chukwuemeka Ndubuisi "Emeka" Okafor (born September 28, 1982) is an American professional basketball player. Okafor attended Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas and the University of Connecticut,...  more
  • 3

    Peter Odemwingie

    FC Lokomotiv Moscow
    Peter Osaze Odemwingie (born 15 July 1981) is a retired Nigerian professional footballer who played as a forward and winger. Odemwingie grew up in Uzbekistan and Russia and began his career with...  more
  • 4

    Victor Anichebe

    Everton F.C.
    Victor Chinedu Anichebe (born 23 April 1988) is a Nigerian professional footballer who is a free agent, having recently played for Beijing Enterprises as a striker. ...  more
  • 5
    Florence Ekpo-Umoh (born 27 December 1977 in Lagos) is a Nigerian-German sprinter, who specializes in the 400 m....  more
  • 6
    Francis Obiorah Obikwelu, GOIH (born 22 November 1978) is a retired Nigerian-born Portuguese sprinter, who specialized in 100 metres and 200 metres. He obtained Portuguese citizenship in 2001. He is...  more
  • 7

    Emmanuel Amuneke

    Julius Berger FC
    Emmanuel Amuneke (for long misspelled Amunike;) born 25 December 1970 is a Nigerian football coach and former player. A former winger, his professional playing career was blighted by injury. He...  more
  • 8

    Al-Farouq Aminu

    Chicago Bulls
    Al-Farouq Ajiede Aminu (born September 21, 1990) is an American-Nigerian professional basketball player for the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He plays internationally...  more
  • 9

    Josephine Onyia

    Josephine Onyia Nnkiruka (born 15 July 1986 in Lagos) is a Nigerian-born Spanish track and field athlete who specializes in the 100 metres hurdles. She represented Spain at the 2008 Beijing...  more
  • 10

    Amobi Okoye

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Amobi Okoye (born June 10, 1987) is a former Nigerian player of American football. He was drafted by the Houston Texans tenth overall in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisville....  more
  • 11

    Eniola Aluko

    Chelsea L.F.C.
    Eniola Aluko (born 21 February 1987) is an English footballer who plays as a forward for Serie A club Juventus. Since 2014 she has also provided television commentary on football, including men’s and...  more
  • 12
    Blessing Okagbare-Ighoteguonor (born 9 October 1988) is a Nigerian track and field athlete who specializes in long jumping and short sprints. She is an Olympic and World Championships medalist in the...  more
  • 13

    Jay-Jay Okocha

    Augustine Azuka "Jay-Jay" Okocha ( ə-KOTCH-ə; born 14 August 1973) is a Nigerian former professional footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. A quick and skillful playmaker, who is...  more
  • 14

    Enoch Showunmi

    Falkirk F.C.
    Enoch Olusesan Showunmi (born 21 April 1982) is a former professional footballer who last played as a striker for Chalfont St Peter. Born in England, he played for Nigeria at international level and...  more
  • 15
    Kelenna David Azubuike (born 16 December 1983) is an American former professional basketball player and currently the Golden State Warriors television color analyst on NBC Sports Bay Area. Born in...  more
  • 16

    Austin Brown

    Heartland F.C.
    Austin Brown (born Nathaniel Austin Brown; November 22, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter and producer....  more
  • 17
    David Dejiro Defiagbon (12 June 1970 – 24 November 2018) was a Nigerian boxer. Nicknamed "The Dream", Defiagbon fought for Canada and won the heavyweight silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics....  more
  • 18
    Henry Adetokunboh Akinwande (born 12 October 1965) is a British former professional boxer who competed from 1989 to 2008. He held the WBO heavyweight title from 1996 to 1997, as well as the...  more
  • 19

    Victor Moses

    Nigeria national football team
    Victor Moses (born 12 December 1990) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a winger on either flank for Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe, on loan from Chelsea of the Premier League. Moses began...  more
  • 20
    Falilat Ogunkoya (born 5 December 1968 in Ode Remo, Ogun State) is a Nigerian former track and field athlete. Ogunkoya has won a number of national championships, including a gold medal in 1996 in...  more
  • 21
    Celestine Hycieth Babayaro (born 29 August 1978) is a Nigerian former footballer who played as a defender or as a midfielder. Babayaro spent the majority of his career playing in the Premier League,...  more
  • 22
    Oludamola Bolanle ("Damola") Osayomi (born 26 June 1986 in Ilesha, Osun State) is a Nigerian sprinter who specializes in the 100 metres and 200 metres. She is a four-time gold medallist at the...  more
  • 23

    Sani Kaita

    FC Lokomotiv Moscow
    Sani Haruna Kaita (born 2 May 1986 in Kano, Nigeria) is a Nigerian footballer who is a free agent after being released from RoPS at the end of the 2017 season....  more
  • 24

    Nedum Onuoha

    Manchester City F.C.
    Chinedum "Nedum" Onuoha (born 12 November 1986) is an English professional footballer who plays as a defender for Real Salt Lake. He is typically a centre back, but he can also play at right back or...  more
  • 25

    Dele Adeleye

    Sparta Rotterdam
    Ayodele "Dele" Adeleye (born 25 December 1988) is a Nigerian football defender who last played for FC SKA-Khabarovsk in the Russian Premier League as a centre-back....  more