It is old news that Africa resources is being used worldwide, in "developed" countries, while the source is still "developing". This does not only go for mineral resources, but manpower. Now, this is not a complaint, but we have a long way to go to build our homelands.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand; Nigerian basketball players are proving themselves to be elite players in foreign land, - giving them honours to say the least - for the opportunities provided. I mean, who wants to miss such a chance? Each one of them has worked themselves off and broken limits to be amongst the 12 to represent a whole nation.
1. Nneka Ogwumike (USA)
Starting with the most popular, Nneka Ogwumike is not new to the scene and has been very popular and active in the basketball realm. She and her younger sister Chineye Ogwumike went on to be the first WNBA players, as siblings, to feature at the All Stars games. Nneka has won both rookie and MVP in the WNBA. In no surprise she got the MVP title at the recently concluded FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifiers (FIBAOQT), Serbia. Nneka topped the tournament, at Field Goal Shooting (68%).
2. Natalie Achonwa (Canada)
Nat is a high and low end defensive player, who averaged 13.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists. She tops team Canada in Efficiency (18.0) and rebounds, with second in scoring. Her worst game, during FIBAOQT, Belgium was the first against the host. Achonwa played 18 minutes, but came up with only six points. After that; she geared up with her game face, against Sweden and Japan; scoring 16 and 18 points respectively. She is not new to the Olympics haven attended twice. Tokyo may be her last.
3. Temi Fagbenle (England)
Temitope is one of the athletes who is deep rooted with her roots and flaunts it occasionally. As the top player representing Great Britain, she averaged 25 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals. Despite her high performance, it was not enough for her to get another shot at the Olympics. China, Korea and Spain displayed more dominance in the group of death. A player, and an artist, we hope to see more of Temitope's exploits on and off the court.
4. Liz Cambage (Australia)
Tall (6'8 ft) and energetic Elizabeth Cambage drew serious attention with her personality and prowess on and off the court. She led team Australia literarily with triple doubles at the end of the FIBAOQT, France, to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics proper. Not just the team, but the whole tournament! Elizabeth topped in; Points per Game (26.3), Total Points (79), Free Throws (89.7%), Rebounds per Game (11.0), Total Rebounds (33), Blocks per Game (2.3) and Efficiency (28.7). Despite her performance, she did not get the MVP title in France and the much contested MVP title by fans at 2018 Women's World Cup, which was given to Breanna Stewart from USA.
5. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe(Canada)
Light on her feet and clear floor vision, the high spirited Nayo, is a supportive athlete, feeding off on defensive rebounds and assists. She also features for the Canadian 3x3 team; a specialist on that end. Nayo, at the end of the tournament, averaged 6 points 5 rebounds and 2 assists. She also played a vital role in the downfall of Nigeria, during the 2018 World Cup (Canada 73-72 Nigeria), as she picked up vital defensive rebounds, scored 10 points, and was the most efficient player on the Canadian team.
6. Ezi Magbegor (Australia)
Teammate to Liz Cambage and plays the Forward position, plus a decent height of 6'4, Ezi manages to average seven points per game, with 4.3 rebounds, and 1 assist. Owning to lesser play time against France (two minutes), scoring nothing, her average points was significantly affected, for with 19 minutes of play against Puerto Rico, she made 15 points. At age 20, her steady improvement in her position looks steady.
7. Miranda Ayim (Canada)
Another veteran on the Canadian team, who has attended two Olympics, going for the third. You would majorly see Natalie Achonwa feeding her with the assists. They both tend to share emotional moments together, like sisters who look after each other in times of need. Ayim has mastered the art of the baseline-reverse layup. At 6'3, she is a very competitive, who loves to rebound, plays defense and yes, watch out for those blocks!
8. Kristine Anigwe (England)
At 6'4, Anigwe debuted the British team, and for some unknown reason was benched by the coach Chema Buceta for two of their three games. She was allowed to play the second game against Korea, for 11 minutes and she scored three points, grabbed four rebounds and one steal.
9. Laeticia Amihere (Canada)
Currently 18 years of age, Amihere is a rookie on senior team Canada, who plays forward averaged four points, 2.5 rebounds, and 0.5 assists; a good start as she graduated from the junior to senior team. She a graduate, from the University of South Carolina.
10. Monica Okoye (Japan)
Even though she did not feature at the just concluded #FIBAOQT, we could not help but notice her first appearance with Japan at the 2018 Women's World Cup. Then she averaged 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.5 steals. Her brother, Louis Okoye plays baseball professionally. We hope to see her more in action soon.
That is all for now, and this so proves that we have the talent, resource and more to be successful.
By the way, this may not be all the Nigerian players out there that we noticed. We believe that there are more, especially those have non indigenous names.
Leave a Reply.