Yomi Sangodeyi, a Nigerian basketball star has passed on at the age of 57 after losing a long battle to illness.
Reports claim the former D'Tigers star succumbed to lung cancer and the deadly coronavirus disease.
He was the first Nigerian Sportsman of the Year played and represented the country in several national competitions in the late 1970s and 1980s.
President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) Musa Kida has described Yomi Basket as a big brother and legend of the sport.
“He was like a big brother to many of us then in the National Team. He made it easy for us as young athletes to find our feet and settle in the team during our active days.“We have not just lost a great basketball mind that got drafted by the NBA in 1984 by the New Jersey Nets, we have lost one out of the two FIBA Hall of Famers from Nigeria, the other being Mr. Babs Ogunade, the VP of the NBBF. "He was our national treasure who typified everything basketball stood for in Nigeria and beyond.”Sangodeyi was ranked among the five greatest Nigeria basketballers to have played in the NBA along with Hakeem Olajuwon, Alabi Adelanwa, Joe Garba and Emmanuel Chagu.
He studied Criminal Justice at Sam Houston State University, Texas and was Nigeria’s first full-time professional basketball player.
He played NCAA at Sam Houston State University, Texas, and was taken in the third round of the 1984 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets.
The lanky basketball star also plied his trade across Europe and South America including Italy, Spain, Turkey, Israel, Argentina and Brazil.
The body of Sangodeyi has been laid to rest according to Islamic rites.