Wizards’ Jaime Echenique becomes first Colombian-born NBA player


Not only did the Washington Wizards snag a big double-digit home win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, but they also made a bit of history along the way.

With 3:04 remaining in the game, Jaime Echenique checked in for Bradley Beal and became the first-ever Colombian-born NBA player.

Echenique, 24, played with the Capital City Go-Go — the Wizards’ G-League affiliate — this season before being signed to a 10-day contract with Washington earlier Thursday. He took note of what it would be like to become the first Colombian NBA player last month.

“It would be great for my country, I’m not going to lie,” Echenique said. “It would be a big representation to have a Colombian player in the NBA. To be honest, personally, I’ve never took the emphasis of being the first, the second or the third because it doesn’t matter if you make it, it’s if you stay.”

Echenique’s road to the Wizards has been a long and interesting one. His father was a bus driver and his mother was a chef, working essentially around the clock throughout Jaime’s childhood. He first started playing basketball at age 13 and never looked back.

From Colombia, Echenique made stops at Trinity Valley Community College, Wichita State, the Wizards’ Summer League team, the Go-Go, and now finally the Wizards. 

“It’s just been a dream come true to be in this position," Echenique said in November. "I’ve been enjoying it. I’m grateful to God for the opportunity.”