?Ime Udoka has logged a lot of hours on the court in the NBA, and for Nigeria over the years.

A member of the all-tournament team at Afrobasket 2011 in Madagascar, Udoka spent last season with UCAM Murcia in Spain, helping save the club from relegation.

Now Udoka is making a big change.

As he predicted in an interview with FIBA.com earlier this year, Udoka has become an assistant coach in the NBA, and with the club he last played for in the league in 2010-11.

The 35-year-old has joined the staff of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

?Ime Udoka possesses an outstanding work ethic as well as a natural inclination to teach,” Popovich said.

“We are excited to add someone with his potential to our coaching staff.?

Udoka could have continued playing basketball because he was a solid guard with Murcia, shooting 41% (31 of 75) from behind the arc and averaging more than 12 points per game.

That performance came on the heels of a strong showing with Nigeria at Afrobasket 2011 in Madagascar, where he had averaged more than 12 points and almost seven rebounds.

Nigeria won bronze in Antananarivo to earn a trip to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) but Udoka, citing the need to spend time with family, did not accompany the national team to Caracas, Venezuela, for the OQT.

The Africans upset Greece in the Quarter-Finals and ultimately defeated the Dominican Republic to reach the Olympics for the first time.

Though he missed out on the Olympic experience, Ime Udoka was nevertheless elated with Nigeria?s qualification.

He tweeted: ?Congratulations to the Nigerian national team on the Olympic berth. So proud of all my Naija brethren and happy for the country in general.?

Udoka did have a chance to stand out for Nigeria in one of the greatest international tournaments of all time.

He played at the 2006 FIBA World Championship and averaged more than 14 points and five rebounds and almost four assists as Nigeria advanced to the Eight-Finals in Saitama, Japan, where they lost 78-77 in the dying seconds to Dirk Nowitzki and Germany.

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