Following a momentous decision, NBA player Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns has topped the social media trends by switching allegiance from Nigeria to Bahamas.
The 6′ 11″ centre is a member of the Phoenix Suns and is regarded as one of the league’s top big men.
Ayton, who was born in Nigeria to a Nigerian father and a Jamaican and Bahamian mother, began his NBA career as the first overall choice in 2018.
He represented Nigeria at the 2018 NBA Draught, and there was speculation that he would change his international allegiance.
Ayton is slated to compete for the Bahamas in a week-long stretch of Olympic qualification matches for the 2024 Games in Paris.
Ayton spent his early years in Nassau before moving to the US to play high school basketball.
He had previously competed for the Bahamas national team, most recently in 2016.
The Bahamas, along with 39 other countries, have no chance of qualifying for the 2024 Olympics through the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.
As a result, the Bahamas, like Nigeria’s senior national team D’Tigers, are competing in the Americas section of the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament among seven other teams.
The winner of the August bracket advances to the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in July 2024.
Ayton will not be joining his Suns colleague Chimezie Metu, who will captain Nigeria’s D’Tigers in FIBA Pre-qualifying tournament games.