Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda’s star Ishmail Wainwright has joined National Basketball Association (NBA) outfits Phoenix Suns on a two-year contract.
The deal comes less than a week after the 27-year power forward parted ways with Eastern Conference outfits Toronto Raptors that had signed him in August this year. Wainwright therefore joins the Phoenix Suns as a free agent.
The Raptors parted ways with Silverbacks star player after spending with him only three months since his arrival. Wainright had an impressive performance and a strong showing during the Summer League and Preseason games making an average of 7.4 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game in Summer League play for the Raptors.
However, despite an impressive performance, the Raptors had to trim down the training camp roster to 17 players ahead of the 2021-22 season and consequently, they waived Wainright in order to keep some key players.
“First and foremost, I just want to thank the entire front office, coaching staff, down to the trainers and medical staff for everything. And to the fans, thank you all for the love and support, this is just the beginning, ” Wainright stated after being waived by Raptors.
Wainright has played in Europe since finishing his four-year career at Baylor in 2017, displaying his ability to impact any NBA team with his defensive versatility. His new contract with the Suns is a milestone for Uganda’s basketball Association development and exposure.
The player welcomed the opportunity and promised to work hard for the new club. “I am a blessed to be part of the Suns family, it is time to work,” stated Wainright.
Wainright is a 6’5”, 250-pound undersized power forward with top defensive skills. He was one of Uganda’s top performers in the Afrobasket finals where Uganda finished sixth overall, he averaged 12.6 points, 9.4 rebounds and 6.4 assists
He became the first Ugandan international basketball player to join the world’s top elite basketball league, the National Basketball Association when he joined his recent club Toronto Raptors which plays in the Eastern conference.
The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix Arizona, the club competes in the National Basketball Association as a member of the league’s Western conference pacific division.