Obi Toppin

Obi Toppin
Obi Toppin.jpg
Toppin in 2020
No. 1 – New York Knicks
PositionPower forward
Personal information
Born (1998-03-04) March 4, 1998 (age 22)
Brooklyn, New York
Listed height6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)
Listed weight220 lb (100 kg)
Career information
High school
CollegeDayton (2018–2020)
NBA draft2020 / Round: 1 / Pick: 8th overall
Selected by the New York Knicks
Playing career2020–present
Career history
2020–presentNew York Knicks
Career highlights and awards
Stats at

Obadiah Richard "Obi" Toppin Jr. (born March 4, 1998) is an American professional basketball player for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played college basketball for the Dayton Flyers.

A native of Brooklyn, Toppin graduated from Ossining High School in New York. After receiving no NCAA Division I offers, he played a postgraduate season at Mt. Zion Preparatory School in Maryland. As a freshman with the Dayton Flyers, Toppin was named Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year after leading his team in scoring. He had breakout success in his sophomore season, earning Atlantic 10 Player of the Year and National College Player of the Year honors. After the college season Toppin declared for the 2020 NBA Draft where he was selected with the eighth pick by the New York Knicks.

Early life and high school career

Toppin was born in Brooklyn in New York City and originally grew up in the neighborhood of Bushwick before moving to Melbourne, Florida. He attended Heritage High School in Palm Bay as a freshman before transferring to Melbourne Central Catholic High School the next year. Toppin, his mother and younger brother relocated to Ossining, New York and enrolled at Ossining High School going into his junior year.[1]

He averaged 20.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals as a senior during his only year playing varsity at Ossining and led the team to its first conference title in 10 years. Having received no NCAA Division I offers, Toppin opted to enroll at Mt. Zion Preparatory School in Baltimore, Maryland for a postgraduate year. He averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists and also grew four inches to 6 feet 9 inches (2.06 m).[2] He committed to play college basketball at the University of Dayton over offers from Rhode Island, Georgetown, Georgia, Texas A&M, Minnesota and Texas Tech.[3][4]

College career

Toppin redshirted his true freshman season after being ruled academically ineligible to play.[5] As a redshirt freshman, Toppin led the Flyers with 14.4 points per game while averaging 5.6 rebounds per game and was named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week seven times.[6] At the end of the season, Toppin was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year and to the first team All-Atlantic 10, the first freshman to do so since Lamar Odom in 1999.[7][8] Following the end of the season he declared for the 2019 NBA draft, but did not hire an agent.[9] After working out for several NBA teams, Toppin opted to withdraw from the draft and return to Dayton.[10][11]

Entering his redshirt sophomore season, Toppin was named to the preseason first team All-Atlantic 10 and to the Karl Malone, Lute Olson, and Naismith Award watchlists.[12][13][14] Toppin was also named the 44th-best collegiate basketball player going into the 2019–20 season by CBS Sports and the 24th-best prospect for the 2020 NBA draft by ESPN.[15][16] He was named the Atlantic 10 Player of the Week for the first week of the season after scoring a career-high 29 points with 12 rebounds in the Flyers' season opening 86–81 win over Indiana State.[17] In late November 2019, Toppin led Dayton to second place at the 2019 Maui Invitational Tournament, averaging 22.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 blocks over three games. He subsequently repeated as Atlantic 10 Player of the Week and was recognized as National Player of the Week by NBC Sports.[18][19] On December 30, Toppin scored a career-high 31 points in a 77–59 win over North Florida, including a school-record 10 dunks.[20] He was named to the midseason watchlist for the Wooden Award and was named the Midseason Player of the Year by The Athletic.[21][22]

Toppin sprained his left ankle during a win against UMass on January 11, 2020, but did not miss a game, scoring 24 points in Dayton's next game against VCU in spite of his injury.[23][24] Toppin scored his 1,000th career point on February 22, 2020 during a 28-point performance in an 80–70 win over Duquesne.[25] At the end of the regular season Toppin was named to the first team All-Atlantic 10 and the Atlantic 10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Year after averaging 20 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game with a .633 field goal percentage.[26][27] Toppin was a consensus first team All-American selection, won the Karl Malone Award as the nation's top power forward,[28] and was the consensus National Player of the Year after being named the Associated Press College Basketball Player of the Year,[29] NABC Player of the Year,[30] Naismith College Player of the Year,[31] and awarded the Oscar Robertson Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award.[32][33] He also garnered national player of the year honors from CBS Sports, The Athletic, NBC Sports and USA Today.[34] After the season Toppin announced that he would be forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the 2020 NBA draft.[35] Toppin finished his college career with 1,096 points scored and a school-record 190 dunks.[36]

Professional career

On November 18, 2020, Toppin was selected with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft by the New York Knicks.[37] On November 23, Toppin signed a rookie scale contract with the Knicks.[38][39]

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


2018–19[40] Dayton 33 15 26.5 .666 .524 .713 5.6 1.8 .6 .8 14.4
2019–20[40] Dayton 31 31 31.6 .633 .390 .702 7.5 2.2 1.0 1.2 20.0
Career 64 46 29.0 .647 .417 .706 6.6 2.0 .8 1.0 17.1

Personal life

Toppin's father, also named Obadiah, was a well-known streetball player in Brooklyn. He played basketball collegiately at Globe Institute of Technology and professionally for the Brooklyn Kings of the United States Basketball League, the Harlem Strong Dogs of the American Basketball Association and in the Dominican Republic.[1][41] His father was also known as "Dunkers Delight" while playing for a streetball team called the Court Kingz. His brother, Jacob, plays college basketball for Kentucky after transferring from Rhode Island.[42][43]

Toppin is a Christian and has a cross tattoo on his right shoulder as a sign of his faith.[44][45]


  1. ^ a b Archdeacon, Tom (June 10, 2018). "Redshirt freshman Toppin eager to make Dayton debut". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Rider, James (September 19, 2017). "UD freshman Toppin academically ineligible for 2017–18 season". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  3. ^ Thompson, Josh (May 19, 2017). "Thomson: Patience lands Toppin at Dayton". The Journal News. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Borzello, Jeff (February 13, 2020). "How Obi Toppin ended up at Dayton and other origin stories around Wooden Award favorites". Retrieved February 17, 2020.
  5. ^ Johnson, Raphielle (September 19, 2017). "Dayton freshman Toppin ineligible for 2017–18 season". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Jablonski, David (March 12, 2019). "Atlantic 10 awards: Obi Toppin makes Dayton Flyers history". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  7. ^ Failla, Zak (March 14, 2019). "Northern Westchester's Obi Toppin Named Atlantic 10 Rookie Of Year". Daily Voice. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  8. ^ Bennett, Brian (September 6, 2019). "State of the Hoops Program: With Obi Toppin leading the way, Dayton ready for breakout season". The Athletic. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  9. ^ Szkolar, Adrian (April 17, 2019). "Obi Toppin, Ossining graduate, declares for 2019 NBA Draft". The Journal News. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  10. ^ Jablonski, Dave (May 28, 2019). "Dayton Flyers forward Obi Toppin withdraws from NBA Draft". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  11. ^ Albertie, Quenton S. (May 13, 2019). "2019 NBA Draft: Celtics workout Obi Toppin, A-10 Rookie of the Year". Celtics Wire. USA Today. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  12. ^ "Dayton's Obi Toppin named to watch list for Karl Malone Award". Dayton Daily News. October 17, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  13. ^ Jablonski, David (November 4, 2019). "Toppin named to watch list for college basketball's most prestigious award". Archived from the original on November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  14. ^ "Obi Toppin Named To Lute Olson Award Watch List". University of Dayton Athletics. November 6, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  15. ^ Boone, Kyle; Norlander, Matt; Parrish, Gary (October 24, 2019). "Ranking the Top 100 And 1 best players in college basketball entering the 2019–20 season". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  16. ^ Givony, Jonathan (November 4, 2019). "NBA mock draft: Viewer's guide for our top prospects". Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  17. ^ Jablonski, David (November 11, 2019). "Toppin wins Atlantic 10 Player of the Week award". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  18. ^ Pohl, Jack (December 2, 2019). "Flyers soar into AP Top 20, Toppin player of the week". Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  19. ^ Dauster, Rob (December 2, 2019). "Monday's Overreactions: Michigan's awesome, Udoka Azubuike's breakout, Obi Toppin alert". Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  20. ^ Jablonski, David (December 30, 2019). "Obi Toppin breaks school record with 10 dunks in victory over North Florida". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  21. ^ "Gonzaga's Filip Petrusev among new faces on Wooden Award midseason list". ESPN. January 8, 2020. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  22. ^ Jablonski, David (January 7, 2020). "Obi Toppin named midseason national player of the year by The Athletic". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  23. ^ "Obi Toppin injures ankle during Dayton's big win over UMass". ESPN. Associated Press. January 11, 2020. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  24. ^ "VCU falls to No. 13 Dayton, unable to contain a hobbled Obi Toppin". NBC Sports Washington. Associated Press. January 14, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  25. ^ Stacy, Mitch (February 22, 2020). "Toppin scores 28 as No. 5 Dayton cruises past Duquesne 80–70". Associated Press. Retrieved February 22, 2020.
  26. ^ Jablonski, David (March 10, 2020). "Obi Toppin makes more Dayton Flyers history in Atlantic 10 awards". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved March 10, 2020.
  27. ^ Braziller, Zach (March 10, 2020). "Once an afterthought, Obi Toppin turned Dayton into NCAA title threat". New York Post. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  28. ^ Purves, Michael (April 7, 2020). "Obi Toppin named national power forward of the year; moves closer to sweep of prestigious awards". Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  29. ^ Dermer, Shelby (March 24, 2020). "Dayton's Toppin first in our area to win college basketball player of the year since 2003". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  30. ^ Jablonski, David (March 30, 2020). "Obi Toppin, Anthony Grant add to trophy case with more national awards". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  31. ^ Norlander, Matt (April 3, 2020). "Dayton's Obi Toppin earns 2020 Citizen Naismith Trophy for being named the men's player of the year". Retrieved April 3, 2020.
  32. ^ Jablonski, David (March 25, 2020). "Obi Toppin, Anthony Grant sweep top awards from USBWA". Springfield News-Sun. Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  33. ^ Medcalf, Myron (April 7, 2020). "Dayton's Obi Toppin wins Wooden Award to complete sweep". Retrieved April 7, 2020.
  34. ^ Purves, Michael (March 20, 2020). "Dayton's Obi Toppin named First Team All-American, first in program history". Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  35. ^ Hellman, Sam (March 25, 2020). "Obi Toppin declares for NBA Draft". Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  36. ^ Purves, Michael (March 25, 2020). "'Thank you Flyer Nation;' Dayton's Obi Toppin to enter NBA Draft". Retrieved March 25, 2020.
  37. ^ Quinn, Sam (November 18, 2020). "2020 NBA Draft grade: Knicks select Obi Toppin with No. 8 overall pick". Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  38. ^ "Knicks Sign Obi Toppin". November 23, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  39. ^ Jablonski, David (November 23, 2020). "Former Flyer Obi Toppin signs rookie contract with Knicks". dayton-daily-news. Archived from the original on November 24, 2020. Retrieved November 24, 2020.
  40. ^ a b "Obi Toppin College Stats". Sports Reference. Retrieved April 10, 2020.
  41. ^ Bennett, Brian (February 4, 2020). "The flight of Obi Toppin". The Athletic. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  42. ^ Geoghegan, William (November 5, 2019). "College basketball: URI good enough in opener". The Westerly Sun. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  43. ^ Koch, Bill (April 16, 2020). "Former URI forward Jacob Toppin commits to Kentucky". Providence Journal. Retrieved April 16, 2020.
  44. ^ Mercer, Kevin (March 13, 2020). "Player of the Year frontrunner Obi Toppin of Dayton looks to God amid coronavirus cancellations". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved March 14, 2020.
  45. ^ Toppin, Obi; Hager, Tom. "Trust the Process". Athletes For God. Retrieved March 14, 2020.

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