Family and early life
Diogu’s parents, natives of Nigeria, moved to the U.S. in 1980 to pursue further education. They later moved from Buffalo, New York, where he was born, to Garland, Texas. Ike attended Austin Academy, then enrolled at Garland High School. Diogu is a member of the Igbo ethnic group.
Diogu stands at 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m) tall, which is considered slightly undersized for an NBA power forward, but he makes up for his lack of height with his muscle, girth and 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 m) wingspan.
Diogu attended Arizona State University, where he excelled on the team under head coach Rob Evans. He garnered several honors, both in the Pac-10 Conference and nationally. He won Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, and then Pac-10 Player of the Year in his final season with ASU, as a junior. Many speculated that Diogu would enter the draft after playing his third season with Arizona State. On June 21, 2005, he made the decision to enter the NBA draft.
On January 15, 2022, Diogu’s number 5 jersey was retired by the Sun Devils. He was the first consensus All-American in program history.
Diogu was selected 9th overall in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors. On December 23, 2005, he recorded a professional career-best 27 points on 13–15 shooting, surpassing his previous best by 12 points.On January 17, 2007, Diogu, whom Larry Bird called the “gem” of the deal, was traded to the Indiana Pacers along with teammates Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Troy Murphy, and Keith McLeod for Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, Šarūnas Jasikevičius, and Josh Powell.
On June 26, 2008 (draft night), Diogu was traded by Indiana to the Portland Trail Blazers along with the draft rights to Jerryd Bayless in exchange for Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts and the draft rights to Brandon Rush to the Indiana Pacers.
Diogu signed with the New Orleans Hornets on July 29, 2009, but never appeared in a game for the team.
He signed with the Detroit Pistons on September 27, 2010, becoming a member of their preseason roster. On October 20, 2010, Diogu was waived by the Pistons.
The Los Angeles Clippers signed Diogu as a free agent on December 22, 2010. On February 8, 2011, Diogu scored a season-high 18 points against the Orlando Magic.
Diogu joined the San Antonio Spurs on January 3, 2012. One week later, the Spurs waived him.
During the 2012 CBA Playoffs, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers signed Diogu for the rest of the 2012 CBA Playoffs. Diogu was a replacement for Gani Lawal during this time. He later signed with Capitanes de Arecibo of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional.
On October 1, 2012, Diogu signed with the Phoenix Suns. He was then waived on October 24, 2012.
On September 27, 2013, Diogu signed with the New York Knicks. However, he was waived on October 25.
On December 12, 2013, he was acquired by the Bakersfield Jam.
On February 3, 2014, Diogu was named to the Prospects All-Star roster for the 2014 NBA D-League All-Star Game. On April 25, 2014, he was named the 2014 NBA D-League Impact Player of the Year.
On April 29, 2014, Diogu re-joined the Leones de Ponce of the Baloncesto Superior Nacional. This year Diogu helped the Lions to win the championship over the Capitanes of Arecibo.
In October 2015, Diogu signed with Guangdong Southern Tigers for the 2015–16 CBA season.
On January 16, 2022, he signed with Zamalek of the Egyptian Basketball Super League. On February 12, Diogu made his debut scoring 8 points and 4 rebounds against Burgos in the semifinal of the 2022 FIBA Intercontinental Cup.
National team career
Diogu has played with the senior men’s Nigeria national basketball team. He has competed at two Summer Olympiads: the 2012 and 2016. He was named MVP of the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament after averaging 22 points, 8.7 rebounds.