One new face that will be jostling for a place in the final roster of the Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, to the Tokyo Olympics is Brigham Young Cougars (BYC) forward, Gideon George.
George, who recently finished his first season for the Cougars, has travelled to California this weekend with high hopes of snagging a place in the D’Tigers’ team to Tokyo.
While Nigeria has long qualified for the Olympics, it is still looking to add the finishing touches to the roster ahead of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which begins July 23.
George averaged 5.4 points and 3.5 rebounds last season for BYU. He arrived in Provo after spending a stop at New Mexico Junior College.
Before that, he had his humble beginnings on the outdoor courts in Minna and Owerri, Nigeria, where he was discovered by Brandon Goble of JUCO Advocate.
A dream come true. Gideon George came from the outdoor courts of Minna and Owerri Nigeria, to New Mexico JC and now BYU.
Next week, he will be in camp with the Nigerian National Team for Olympic team tryouts.
🇳🇬 #Tokyo2020 #Olympics pic.twitter.com/J1HWKEjY78
— JUCOadvocate (@JUCOadvocate) June 17, 2021
With the array of stars hoping to fly with D’Tigers in Tokyo, Gideon will need to have a great performance in camp to make the roster.
But, Gideon may have a chance to sneak one of the final spots, going by the arguments in some quarters that Nigeria isn’t super deep at the three spot.
Another thing Gideon, who is responsible for thousands of shoes being donated to Africa, has going for him is his tenacity on and off the courts.
Nigeria is coached by Mike Brown, the associate head coach of the Golden State Warriors.
D’Tigers are already housed in Group B where they will face Australia on 29 July at the Saitama Super Arena in Tokyo and two yet-to-be-decided group opponents thereafter.
The top two teams in each group and the two best losers will qualify for the quarter-finals. The Tokyo Olympics marks the first time Nigeria will have both basketball national teams at an Olympic Games.