Nigeria’s national men’s basketball team, D’Tigers head coach, Mike Brown, has named a provisional 15-man squad for the Tokyo Olympics, and conspicuously missing from the list is Ike Diogu, a stalwart of the team in the last 10 years.
The American coach pruned his initial 49-man list to 15 ahead of the friendly matches lined up for the team just before the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 15-man list was made public Tuesday with eight NBA stars in the mix.
It is headlined by Detroit Piston Centre, Jahlil Okafor, who is in line to make his international debut for Nigeria.
Miami Heat’s trio of Gabe Vincent, Chikezie ‘KZ’ Okpala, and 2020 NBA draft pick, Precious Achiuwa have also made the cut for the last phase of preparation with Utah Jazz’s Miye Oni.
A statement issued by the NBBF on Tuesday indicates Minnesota Timberwolves Josh Okogie and Metu Chimezie of Sacramento Kings will be making a return to D’Tigers.
This is following their exploits at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China where the youngsters helped Nigeria secure an Olympics ticket alongside Ike Iroegbu.
Also, Jordan Nwora’s fairytale adventure continues with another chance to be at the Olympics.
Nwora whose team, the Milwaukee Bucks are headed to the NBA finals, is the current and youngest highest point scorer for Nigeria in a competitive game as well as making history alongside his father (Coach) being on the same team.
After missing out on the 2019 World Cup, Spain-based Obi Emegano returns alongside Caleb Agada, Ekpe Udoh, and Stanley Okoye who has been a constant feature in the team since 2015.
A member of the 2015 Afrobasket team, Mike Gbinije, made the cut with Chima Moneke who has been impressive for the team since making his debut during the 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers.
One of the biggest omissions in the provisional list is Ike Diogu, who until now was D’Tigers captain. The 37-year-old Diogu plays for Chemidor BC in the Iranian Basketball Super League, and he misses out alongside NBA championship winner Festus Ezeli and Ben Uzoh
Brown revealed that the final 12-man list will be named days before their trip to Tokyo.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Australia, Germany, and Italy following the conclusion of the Olympics Qualifying Tournament last weekend.
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