AnwilWłocławek of Poland shooting guard Chamberlain Oguchi, New York Knicks small forward Thanasis Antetokounmpo and captain Olumide Oyedeji are among the 27 players named by coach William Voigt in D’Tigers’ preliminary list ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
The list, dominated by overseas-based players, also has the Aminu brothers Al Farouq and Alade; Ike Diogu, Jamal Olasewere, Micheal Umeh, Benjamin Uzor, Olaseni Lawal, Michael Gbinijie, Andy Ogide, Stanley Okoye and Ezeli Festus.
Others are Ofoegbu Ike, Braimoh Suleiman, Ibekwe Ekene, Derrick Obasohan, Stanley Gumut, Usman Abubakar, Daniel Nwaelele, Josh Akognon, Mfon Udofia, Ere Ebi, Trevor Mbakwe, Ekpe Udoh and Folarin Campbell.
Our correspondent learnt that the team’s training camp would open in Los Angeles on June 27 with the NBA players scheduled to arrive on July 1 after resting from the regular season.
President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Tijjani Umar, who read the team list in Abuja on Tuesday, said the squad would then fly to China on July 3, where they would play in the Stankovic Cup from July 5 to 10 against China, France and Olympic Group D rivals, Argentina.
The team would again fly to either Las Vegas or Australia on July 11 to play either Argentina or Australia, who have also requested for a friendly match with Nigeria in Melbourne on July 15.
Umar said they had also confirmed another friendly game with Olympic Games opponents Brazil in Las Vegas on July 20, before they would engage China two days later in Los Angeles.
Thereafter, D’Tigers would travel to Houston to intensify their training on July 23. They would then play the USA on August 1 in Houston before they finally depart for Rio the following day.
Umar expressed optimism over the release of funds, saying sports minister Solomon Dalung had assured the federation that money would be released for all the teams that qualified for the Olympics as soon as the budget was approved by government.