Exactly one month from today to the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, Head Coach of the Nigeria's senior men's team, Mike Brown, has officially kicked off preparations with invitation of 49 players to camp in California, USA.
Nigeria is paired in Group B alongside Australia and winners of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Serbia and Croatia between 29th of June and 4th of July 2021.
D'Tigers' squad streaming into the camp is headlined by NBA star Monte Morris (Denver Nuggets), Miye Oni (Utah Jazz), OG Anunoby (Toronto Raptors), Kz Okpala (Miami Heat), Festus Ezeli, Precious Achiuwa (Miami Heat), Udoka Azubuike (Utah Jazz) and Jahlil Okafor (Detroit Pistons) who are all in line to make their international debut for Nigeria.
Josh Okogie (Minnesota Timberwolves) is expected to join other NBA players that include; Gabe Vincent (Miami Heat), Al-farouq Aminu (Chicago Bulls), Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee Bucks) and Chimezie Metu (Sacramento Kings) who will be making their return to the team after their 2019 FIBA World Cup exploit which saw Nigeria becoming the first African team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics alongside Ike Diogu (Bameso, Dominican Republic).
Those expected from Europe comprise of; Obi Emegano (Fuenlabrada, Spain), Ike Iroegbu (Elan Chalon, France), Michael Oguine (BC Souffelweyersheim, France), Zaid Hearst (Alba Fehervar, Hungary), Ike Nwamu (Samara, Russia) and Michael Gbinije (BC Nevèżíe, Lithuania).
Others from Europe listed for the camp to fight for places in the final rooster include; Talib Zanna (Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Israel), Emmanuel Omogbo (Vellaznimi, Kosovo), Christian Mekowulu (Treviso, Italy), Tonye Jekiri (Baskonia, Spain), Abdul-Malik Abu (Fethiye, Turkey), Chima Moneke (Orleans, France), Amanze Egekeze (Gries/Oberhoffen, France), Calab Agada (Hapoel Be'er Sheva, Israel), TK Edogi (St. Chamond, France), Joshua Ajayi (Hermine Nantes, France), Keith Omoerah (Poitiers, France) and Michael Eric who recently helped CSKA Moscow of Russia to the European Basketball League.
Others who will be fighting for a chances to represent their fatherland at the games include long sought after NBA champion, Festus Ezeli, UC Iroegbu, Ike Ndugba (2021 NBA draft prospect), Mike Okauru (UNC- Wilmington), Ben Uzoh (Rivers Hoopers), Michael Adewunmi (UT-Rio Grand Valley), Aminu Mohammed (Georgetown University), Manny Obaseki (Texas A&M University), Elijah Olaniyi (Stony Brook University) and Chibuzo Agbo (Texas Tech University).
Gideon George (Brigham Young University), Makenzie Mgbako (Gill St. Bernard School), Warith Alatishe (Oregon State University), Efe Abogidi (Washington State University), Stephen Domingo (Lakeland Magic), Emeka Okafor, Clifford Omoruyi (Rutger University) and Ekpe Udoh (Beijing RF, China) complete the 49-man list.
The players started arriving the camp since Sunday, 20th of June for the first phase of the preparations.