The news that Ime Udoka will soon take over as head coach of the Boston Celtics had basketball fans poring over his biography — and discovering he boasts an A-list Hollywood connection: He’s engaged to actress Nia Long.
Long, 50, famous for her roles in “Boyz n the Hood,” “Soul Food,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” and Udoka, 43, went public with their romance in 2010, and welcomed a son, Kez, in 2011. They became engaged in 2015, but apparently fans shouldn’t expect to hear wedding bells at TD Garden anytime soon.
“Love is complicated, let’s just start there,” Long told Essence in 2020. “And then you start a marriage, which I’ve never been married. And there’s a reason for that because I don’t know that I need to say ‘I do’ to prove to you that I love you. But also, what does marriage really [mean] … that you own me now and I own you? I don’t get that part.”
Udoka, a longtime assistant coach in the NBA and former player, is expected to be introduced as Celtics coach at a news conference on Monday, June 28.
Long, a three-time NAACP Image Award recipient and a winner of a Black Reel Award, played Will Smith’s girlfriend and fiancee in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” in the fifth season of the hit ’90s sitcom. On the big screen, she got her big break in 1991′s “Boyz n the Hood” where she played Brandi, girlfriend of Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Long earned her first producing credit in July 2020 for the Netflix movie “Fatal Affair,” in which she starred opposite Omar Epps.
Upon learning that Udoka was good at courting in more ways that one, fans took to Twitter to express their amazement about his famous fiancee — and their excitement about Long potentially sitting in the stands.
If I'm being honest, he asked who I wanted and I said, Ime Udoka if that means Nia Long at TD Garden 😂— 𝕂𝕨𝕒𝕟𝕚 𝔸. 𝕃𝕦𝕟𝕚𝕤 (@KwaniALunis) June 23, 2021
i wanna thank ime udoka for bringing nia long to boston— harry potter and the goblet of pfizer (@therealAlcosta) June 24, 2021