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Charles Bassey
Bassey in 2021
No. 28 – San Antonio Spurs
Center / Power forward
Personal information
Born (2000-10-28) October 28, 2000 (age 22)
Lagos, Nigeria
High school
Listed height 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight 230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
College Western Kentucky (2018–2021)
NBA Draft 2021 / Round: 2 / Pick: 53rd overall
Selected by the Philadelphia 76ers
Pro career 2021–present
League NBA
Career history
2021–2022 Philadelphia 76ers
2021–2022 →Delaware Blue Coats
2022–present San Antonio Spurs
2022–present →Austin Spurs
Career highlights and awards
  • All-NBA G League Second Team (2022)
  • NBA G League All-Defensive Team (2022)
  • NBA G League All-Rookie Team (2022)
  • Third-team All-American – USBWA (2021)
  • Conference USA Player of the Year (2021)
  • 2× First-team All-Conference USA (2019, 2021)
  • 2× Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year (2019, 2021)
  • Conference USA Freshman of the Year (2019)

Charles A. Bassey (born October 28, 2000) is a Nigerian basketball player for the San Antonio Spurs of the National Basketball Association (NBA) on a two-way contract with the Austin Spurs of the NBA G League. He played college basketball for the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2021 NBA draft.

Early life

Bassey was born in Lagos, Nigeria, where he played soccer until age 12, standing 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) at the time. At that age, he was discovered by a youth basketball coach while Bassey was selling fried chicken on the side of a road and wearing flip-flops that were too small for him. He stopped playing soccer soon after, instead focusing on developing his basketball skills. At age 14, Bassey was named most valuable player (MVP) of basketball camp Giants of Africa, a program established by Toronto Raptors executive Masai Ujiri.

High school career

At age 14, Bassey stood 6 feet 10 inches (2.08 m) and moved to the United States to continue his basketball career at St. Anthony Catholic High School, a private school in San Antonio, Texas. By then, recruiting analysts considered him one of the best prospects in his class. As a freshman, Bassey averaged 20.2 points, 17.1 rebounds and 5.9 blocks per game, leading his team to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) title game. Bassey competed in the Jordan Brand Classic International Game, where he was named MVP. Before his sophomore season, Bassey was ruled ineligible by the TAPPS, with St. Anthony filing an appeal. He still made his season debut, and head coach Jeff Merritt was fired for playing an ineligible player. St. Anthony withdrew from the TAPPS and joined the Texas Christian Athletic League, allowing Bassey to become eligible again.

For his junior season, Bassey transferred to DeSales High School in Louisville, Kentucky and began playing basketball for Aspire Basketball Academy in Louisville. He made the decision after Hennssy Auriantal, his legal guardian and an assistant coach at St. Anthony, was dismissed from the program. As a junior, he averaged 19.4 points and 12.8 rebounds per game.


Bassey was a consensus five-star recruit and one of the top centers in the 2018 class. On June 13, 2018, he reclassified to the 2018 class and committed to playing college basketball for Western Kentucky.

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes
Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight Commit date
Charles Bassey
Lagos, Nigeria Aspire Academy (KY) 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Jun 13, 2018 
Recruiting star ratings: Scout: N/A   Rivals:5/5 stars   247Sports:5/5 stars    ESPN:5/5 stars   ESPN grade: 92
Overall recruiting rankings:   Rivals: 9  247Sports: 9  ESPN: 18
  • Note: In many cases, Scout, Rivals, 247Sports, and ESPN may conflict in their listings of height and weight.
  • In these cases, the average was taken. ESPN grades are on a 100-point scale.


College career

On November 18, 2018, Bassey recorded a freshman season-high 25 points and 10 rebounds in a 78–62 loss to UCF. On January 31, 2019, he posted 22 points and 18 rebounds, the most rebounds by a Western Kentucky freshman since 1972. As a freshman, Bassey averaged 14.6 points, 10 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game, earning First Team All-Conference USA, Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors. He recorded the most rebounds, blocks and double-doubles by a freshman in program history. Bassey's sophomore season was cut short by a tibial plateau fracture he suffered against Arkansas that required surgery. Through 10 games, he was averaging 15.3 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

On November 26, 2020, Bassey recorded 21 points, 14 rebounds and a career-high seven blocks in a 75–69 win over Memphis. On December 10, he had a career-high 29 points and 14 rebounds in an 86–84 victory against Gardner–Webb. At the close of the 2020–21 regular season, he was named the Conference USA Player of the Year, while repeating as the league's Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 17.6 points per game, 11.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Following the season, he declared for the 2021 NBA draft, forgoing his remaining college eligibility.

Professional career

Philadelphia 76ers (2021–2022)

Bassey was selected in the second round of the 2021 NBA draft with the 53rd pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, subsequently joining them for the 2021 NBA Summer League. On September 24, 2021, he signed with the 76ers. On October 13, 2022, he was waived.

San Antonio Spurs (2022–present)

On October 24, 2022, the San Antonio Spurs announced that they had signed Bassey to a two-way contract.

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


Regular season

2021–22 Philadelphia 23 0 7.3 .638 .000 .750 2.7 .3 .2 .7 3.0
Career 23 0 7.3 .638 .000 .750 2.7 .3 .2 .7 3.0


2022 Philadelphia 3 0 4.0 .500 .000 1.7 .3 .0 .3 .7
Career 3 0 4.0 .500 .000 1.7 .3 .0 .3 .7


2018–19 Western Kentucky 34 34 31.4 .627 .450 .769 10.0 .7 .8 2.4 14.6
2019–20 Western Kentucky 10 10 28.1 .533 .167 .787 9.2 1.3 .8 1.6 15.3
2020–21 Western Kentucky 28 28 30.4 .590 .305 .759 11.6 .7 .4 3.1 17.6
Career 72 72 30.5 .596 .319 .768 10.5 .8 .6 2.6 15.9

Personal life

Shortly after arriving in the United States at age 14, Bassey's mother died. At the time, Bassey considered moving back to Nigeria, but his father Akpan Ebong Bassey encouraged him to stay for financial reasons.

Canadian-born basketball coach, Hennssy Auriantal, who runs the Yes II Success organization that brings international players to American private schools, helped bring Bassey to the United States. On March 31, 2017, Auriantal and his wife were granted conservatorship over Bassey. Bassey's father later filed a petition to reopen the case and give Nigerian basketball tournament organizer John Faniran custody over his son, but the petition was dropped due to lack of verification.

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