When it comes to sport in Ghana soccer leads the way for popularity but basketball is third on the list tracking just behind boxing. Why then is it that we've only seen two Ghanaians play in the NBA, which is the elite of basketball.
The answer is one: we don't actually know and one article certainly won't change anything. What it can do, however, is pay tribute to the duo that made it.
We'll get started with a look over the career of Ben Bentil who was selected as the 51st overall pick just five years ago courtesy of the Boston Celtics. When you talk about second round picks, you're always edging into that territory of picking up a 'bust' but that didn't look like it would be the case for Bentil. The power forward, who arrived in America as a 15-years-old, had posted some impressive stats whilst with Providence.
His Freshman year was far from a disaster as Bentil posted game averages of 6.4 points and 4.9 rebounds. The next year, Bentil really kicked things on a level.
He managed to more than treble his points output with an average of 21.1 and his rebound game had improved too with an average of 7.7 collected each match. Those measures saw him sit top of the Big East Conference and that was enough for him to enter the draft.
Unfortunately, things didn't really work out for Bentil at the top level. He never made the cut with the Celtics and the Indiana Pacers made a similar judgement call after taking a closer look.
After time in the development league and in China, Bentil would eventually make it onto a NBA court to become the first Ghanaian to achieve such a feat; that opportunity came thanks to a short term deal with the Dallas Mavericks but in three appearances he failed to register a single point.
His NBA career was over; France and Spain followed before he finally settled on Greece. He spent a couple of years with Peristeri before jumping ship to Panathinaikos where he won the Greek Championship last season.
Should Mensah-Bonsu be on this list? It might be an inclusion that triggers debate given he was born and raised in London.
We've decided to include him on the grounds that both his parents are Ghanaian - you will, however, notice that he doesn't go down as the first Ghanaian to play in the NBA despite joining the league some 11 years before Bentil - that is precisely because that reasoning.
Mensah-Bonsu spent his college years with George Washington where he showed pretty decent levels of consistency across four years; his most impressive season was his senior year where he averaged 12.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
Even with that in mind, he went undrafted in the 2006 draft. Later that year though he would get a crack at the gig time and, like Bentil, it was the Mavericks who offered him the chance.
He only made 12 appearances for the Mavs - all in the 2006/07 season - but did contribute a little with a total of 29 points in that period. It was the first of four seasons Mensah-Bonsu spent in the NBA with the psychology graduate representing a total of five teams.
His best spell came during a 19 game stint with the Toronto Raptors in 2008/09; he averaged 14 minutes per game registering 5.1 points and 5.4 rebounds.
A below par year with the New Orleans Hornets saw the end of his career in the NBA but there was still time for him to achieve some great things in basketball.
His greatest period came in 2012 as he won the Turkish league and cup double with Besiktas where he was recognised as the best player in the league; to this day he is still seen as one of the best defensive players the league has seen and one of the best players to never make an NBA All-Star team.
There you have it, the two Ghanaian's to make it to the NBA. Proof to the 10 NCAA athletes awaiting their chance that it can be achieved - even if it might only be brief.Read Full Story