#31 Lawal Gani
Place of birth College Park
Date of birth 07/11/1988
Height 206 cm
Weight 115 kg
Raised in Norcross, close to Atlanta, he attended the Riverdale High School before moving to the Norcross High School for the last two years of High School, where he won the state award from Georgia in 2006 and 2007. He was elected “Mr. Basketball” and selected for the McDonalds All American Games, which was a tournament reserved only to the best senior high school talents, where he finished with 18.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.7 blocks.
He then went to college, becoming a student for the Georgia Institute of Technology, where already from sophomore year he is considered a cornerstone of the team. He closed the season with shining figures, 15.1 points and 9.5 rebounds. Then he is chosen for the quintet of his conference, the ACC, receiving a honorable mention as All Defensive Player. Already numerous NBA scouts were showing interest towards his abilities. Although he decided to skip the 2009 draft to focus on college for at least one more year. In his junior year, he confirmed his abilities and his potential, bringing Georgia Tech to the final tournament of ACC. He closed the year with 13.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. In the last two seasons he is team leader for points’ average and for number of rebounds.
At the end of the year 2009-2010 he decided to take part to the NBA Draft, one year early.
He was picked by the Phoenix Suns with the 46th choice, with which he played only one game, before moving in November 2010 to the Iowa Energy, a D-League team linked to the Suns.
He played ten games before being called back, but an injury ends his season as a rookie.
In the season 2011-12, following the NBA Lockout, signed a contract with the Polish Stelmet Zielona Gora with which he disputed 13 games in the maximum league. Ending his European experience with 14.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks. At the end of the NBA Lockouts, he moved back to the States and in December 2010 he accepted to play for Xinjiang Flying Tigers with which he played 17 games in the CBA, with 18.4 points and 12.4 rebounds, finishing his season in France with the Chorale Roanne.
In summer 2012 he singed with Virtus Roma, for his debut in the Italian Serie A. He is absolute protagonist of the excellent season of the team, sharing with Bryan Dustin the title of best center of the championship. Teaming with the Sardinian Gigi Datome, he carried the team up to the finals, which were lost against Mens Sana Siena. Against Dinamo he played an astonishing game, with 34 points and 17 rebounds for a total of 57 points of general evaluation. In 47 games played, he signed on 13.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.
The following year, he had brief experiences first in China and the in Latvia at the Vef Riga, singing after with the Philadelphia 76ers, taking part to the Veteran Camp. In November 2013 he is back in Italy. EA7 Milano is able to beat the European competition and to sign the Nigerian player.
With Olimpia’s jersey he finished the season at the first place, winning the playoffs and bringing back the “Scudetto” to the capital of fashion.
In the season of 2014-2015 he played first with the Trabzonspor, playing in the Euro Challenge and successively sining in February for the Greek of Panathinaikos, playing in the EuroLeague.
In July 2015 he came back to Milan where he stayed for two months, disputing five games in the Serie A and three games in the Eurolega.
The first December 2015 he is singed by the Delaware 87ers, in D-League and the 12th of December he realized 10 points and 10 rebounds against Westchester Knicks. The 30th of December his ceded right to the Knicks in exchange for a second choice at the 2016 Draft.
In the 2nd January of the following year, he played against his old team realizing 9 points, 5 rebounds and 2 steals and one block in 21 minutes. The 23 February his ceded to the Reno Bighorns together with a fourth draft choice in exchange to the rights on Ra’shad James and a sixth choice at the 2016 draft. After three days he debuted with his new jersey, realizing 11 points and 12 rebounds in 14 minutes against Santa Cruz Warriors. The 6th July 2016 he came back to Italy signing an yearly contract with Pallacanestro Cantu, moving finally to Sassari, where he will begin a new challenge in Serie A and in the Basketball Champions League with Dinamo Banco di Sardegna.