The basketball world will have to wait a bit longer than usual for the marquee international event, the Summer Olympic Games. But when they are finally held in Tokyo in 2021, at least one American basketball player will have a different affiliation.
Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets will obtain a Nigerian passport in order to play for the nation’s men’s basketball program. The news comes via The Athletic’s Shams Charania, who on Saturday detailed that Dinwiddie would take steps to play for Nigeria after he did not receive an invitation to play for Team USA.
Sources: Nets‘ Spencer Dinwiddie is acquiring a Nigerian passport to play for the Nigeria national team. Dinwiddie didn’t receive Team USA Olympic invite; now joins Nigeria roster under Mike Bown that includes Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu, Ekpe Udoh.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 18, 2020
Soon after, Dinwiddie confirmed the news on his Twitter account.
The American team is the most competitive of international basketball rosters, so not making the cut may have been expected by prognosticators, even for a player as good as Dinwiddie. But the move to suit up for Nigeria means Dinwiddie gets to play international basketball more consistently, and he joins a team with talent that includes Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu, Ekpe Udoh. He’ll suit up for an NBA coach, too, as Warriors assistant Mike Brown leads the squad.
All of this is just paperwork right now, as no one can play basketball and the Olympics have officially been pushed back. But we’re starting to see more of what Team USA’s competition will be in the Summer Games — Nigeria has already qualified for the tournament — something anyone who’s a fan of basketball would love to see take place next year.