In 1999, the unique name Ukari debuted in the U.S. baby name data:
- 2001: unlisted
- 2000: unlisted
- 1999: 16 baby girls named Ukari [debut]
- 1998: unlisted
- 1997: unlisted
College basketball player Ukari (pronounced yoo-KAH-ree) Figgs.
She was a key part of Purdue University’s successful 1998-1999 season, which culminated with a decisive win over Duke in the NCAA national championship game. After the win, Ukari was named Most Outstanding Player of NCAA Women’s Final Four.
During the broadcast of the final game, one announcer mentioned that the name Ukari meant “‘precious gift’ in Nigerian.” (Of course, the other announcer immediately followed with: “She’s been a precious gift to the Boilermakers in the Final Four.”) Another source states that Ukari’s “Nigerian godparents named her Ukari Okien, which means ‘Unto us, God has given grace.'” So far, I haven’t been able to verify either definition.
Ukari Figgs played professional basketball for several years after college. These days, she’s an engineer working for Toyota.
Do you like the name Ukari?
- 1999 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament – Wikipedia
- Smith, Gerald L., Karen Connon McDaniel, John A. Hardin. (Eds.) The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2015.
- Ukari Figgs – Wikipedia
- Ukari Figgs: Basketball Champion and Mechanical Engineer – Purdue University