Mike Brown, the Head Coach of Nigeria’s senior men basketball team, has officially commenced preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games with the invitation of 49 players to the team’s camp.
Afolabi Oni, Head of the Media Committee of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) disclosed in a statement on Tuesday that the camp would open in California, U.S.
the players’ list is headlined by NBA star Monte Morris of Denver Nuggets, Miye Oni of Utah Jazz and Toronto Raptors’ OG Anunoby.
The trio, alongside Kz Okpala, Festus Ezeli and Precious Achiuwa (all of Miami Heat), Udoka Azubuike (Utah Jazz) and Jahlil Okafor (Detroit Pistons), will all be eyeing their international debut.
Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves) will join other NBA players who include Gabe Vincent (Miami Heat), Al-farouq Aminu (Chicago Bulls), Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee Bucks) and Chimezie Metu (Sacramento Kings).
They would be making their return to the team after their 2019 FIBA World Cup exploits which saw Nigeria becoming the first African team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Also making a comeback is team captain Ike Diogu (Bameso, Dominican Republic).
The European legion comprises Obi Emegano (Fuenlabrada, Spain), Ike Iroegbu (Elan Chalon, France), Michael Oguine (BC Souffelweyersheim, France).
Others are Zaid Hearst (Alba Fehervar, Hungary), Ike Nwamu (Samara, Russia) and Michael Gbinije (BC Nevèżíe, Lithuania).
Other Europe-based stars invited are Talib Zanna (Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Israel), Emmanuel Omogbo (Vellaznimi, Kosovo), Christian Mekowulu (Treviso, Italy), Tonye Jekiri (Baskonia, Spain).
Also invited are Abdul-Malik Abu (Fethiye, Turkey), Chima Moneke (Orleans, France), Amanze Egekeze (Gries/Oberhoffen, France) and Calab Agada (Hapoel Be’er Sheva, Israel).
TK Edogi (St. Chamond, France), Joshua Ajayi (Hermine Nantes, France) and Keith Omoerah (Poitiers, France) were also called up.
Michael Eric who recently helped CSKA Moscow of Russia to the European Basketball League also got invited.
The players, according to Oni, have been arriving at the California camp since Sunday for the first phase of the camping exercise.
Nigeria are making their third appearance at the Olympic Games and are in Group B alongside Australia, winners of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Serbia and Croatia.