Coach William Voigt has named nine of the 12 players who won the 2015 AfroBasket for the country in Tunisia for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
The team, which lost 110-66 to the USA on Tuesday in their last friendly match before the Olympics, will begin their quest for a first medal against Argentina on August 7. D’Tigers will be featuring in their second consecutive Olympics in Rio.
The other teams in Nigeria’s Group B are Lithuania, Brazil, Croatia and Spain. D’Tigers need to finish among the top four teams to advance to the quarterfinals.
Olasewere Jamal, Al-Farouq Aminu and Olumide Oyedeji, who recently retired from the team, are the three players from the 2015 triumph absent from the Games. In their place, three new players were called up – Josh Akognon, Ebi Ere and Ekene Ibekwe.
All the 12 players for the Olympics are overseas-based. While Aminu will miss the Olympics, his brother, Alade, will represent Nigeria. Chamberlain Oguchi, the Most Valuable Player at last year’s AfroBasket tournament and a 2012 Olympian, will also be on parade.
The other members of the team are Ike Diogu, Michael Gbinije, Shane Lawal, Andy Ogide, Stan Okoye, Ben Uzoh and Michael Umeh.