Eight current NBA players on Nigeria’s 12-man Olympic roster
from Hoops Rumors with Luke Adams, and from YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
After making some noise in the exhibition schedule by upsetting Team USA, Nigeria will be looking to become the first African men’s basketball team to win an Olympic medal. And it will be doing so with a roster that features eight current NBA players, along with one former NBA player.
Here’s the 12-man squad that will represent Nigeria at the Tokyo games, per the Nigeria Basketball Federation (Twitter link):
Precious Achiuwa (Heat)
Chimezie Metu (Kings)
Jordan Nwora (Bucks)
Jahlil Okafor (Pistons)
Josh Okogie (Timberwolves)
KZ Okpala (Heat)
Miye Oni (Jazz)
Gabe Vincent (Heat)
Achiuwa, Nwora, Okafor, Okogie, and Okpala are all on guaranteed contracts for next season with their respective teams. Metu and Oni are on non-guaranteed deals, while Vincent will be eligible for restricted free agency after finishing the season on a two-way pact. Udoh, a former sixth overall pick who just finalized a two-year deal with Italian club Virtus Bologna, has appeared in a total of 400 NBA games (regular season and postseason)
While the Nigerian squad isn’t exactly loaded with star power, it’s worth highlighting since it’s rare for any country besides Team USA to send so many current NBA players to the Olympics.
Australia’s team will have seven players who finished the season on NBA rosters, while Spain’s roster features 10 players with at least some NBA experience. But the U.S. team is the only other one in Tokyo that will feature at least eight current NBAers.