D’Tigers captain, Ike Diogu, was a surprise exclusion from the provisional 15-man squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Head coach Mike Brown had pruned down the list from the initial 49 players invited to camp in California ahead of the Games, but regulars Al-Farouq Aminu, Michael Eric and OG Annunoby pulled out of the squad prior to the 15-man list, which will also be reduced to a final 12-man squad in the coming days.
The 37-year-old, Diogu who plays for Chemidor BC in the Iranian Basketball Super League, misses out alongside NBA championship winner Festus Ezeli, Ben Uzoh on the D’Tigers Olympic squad, following a list made available to our correspondent by the Nigerian Basketball Federation on Monday.
Diogu competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was named MVP of the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament.
It was gathered that head coach Mike Brown listed four debutants in the squad – Miami Heat trio Precious Achiuwa, Kezie Okpala and Miye Oni and Detroit Pistons’ Jahlil Okafor.
Other players listed in the squad are Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves), Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee Bucks), Chimezie Metu (Sacramento Kings), Ike Iroegbu (Elan Chalon, France), Michael Gbinije (BC Nevezie, Lithuania), Obi Emegano (Fuenlabrada, Spain), Calab Agada (Hapoel Be’er Sheva), Stanley Okoye (Herbalife Gran Canaria), Miye Oni (Utah Jazz), Ekpe Udoh (Beijing RF, China), Chima Moneke (Orleans, France).
D’Tigers play Italy, Germany and Australia in Tokyo.
For the women’s national team, coach Otis Hughley listed three new players — Erica Ogwumike, Oderah Chidom and Elizabeth Williams — in his squad.
Ogwumike’s sisters Nneka, a World Cup winner with the US in 2014 and 2018, and Chiney, also made the squad.
The other players who made the squad are Adaora Elonu, Aisha Balarabe, Amy Amukamara, Atonye Nyingifa, Ezinne Kalu, Pallas Kunayi-Akpanah, Ifunaya Ibekwe, Amy Okonkwo and Victoria Macauley.