The captain of Nigeria national men’s basketball team, Olumide Oyedeji has announced his withdrawal from the D’Tigers squad currently preparing for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Oyedeji dropped the bombshell via his official page on Wednesday, citing personal and family reasons.
Oyedeji said while he has fond memories of making it to the London Olympics four years ago, he has chosen to allow others fly the green and white flag in Rio.
“One of the most exciting memories of being a part of the Nigeria national team is qualifying for the London Olympics – the first time ever for the male basketball team, it still feels surreal. It is also a privilege to have led the team to win its first ever Afrobasket Championship, qualifying for the Rio Summer Olympics,” he said.
He continued: “However, I will not be a part of the Rio Olympic Olympic team due to personal and family reasons.
“For over two decades, I have invested in the national team on and off the court. And as I have evolved and grown as a player, with the needs of the team always paramount in my heart, my role has evolved over time. This, lately has been more off the court. It is thus paramount at this time that the Olympics Team be led by someone other than me.
“I have no doubt that the representing DTigers’ contingent have what it takes (to) fly the flag of Africa and Nigeria high in Rio, as I will one of their biggest fans,” he said.
Wednesday’s statement by Oyedeji is seen by many as a farewell speech by the 35-year-old who has been a member of the senior men’s Nigerian national basketball team since 1997.
He contributed immensely to the national team’s participation at the FIBA Africa Nations Cup in 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2011, 2013 and 2015.
He led Nigeria to first ever AfroBasket trophy in Tunisia 2015.
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