By Bamidele Boluwaji:
Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball team captain, Olumide Oyedeji, has pulled out of the 2016 Olympic Games less than three weeks to the commencement of the global event scheduled to hold in Rio, Brazil.
Oyedeji who made his national team debut for Nigeria during the World University Games in Italy in 1997 and was also part of the team to the Senegal African Championship same year decided to pull out due to personal reasons.
According to D’Tigers’ most capped player, there are more pressing issues from the family that he has to attend to which will not make him to be available with the team at the early stages of the Olympics hence the decision to withdraw so that the team will not be affected.
However, the former NBA star will be in Rio as soon as he is through with his family, in the capacity of the International Olympics Committee Career Programme.
Oyedeji who was part of the team’s pre-Olympics tournament in China has wished the team a successful participation in the competition while urging the players to make Nigeria proud in Rio.
Oyedeji, who featured at the London Olympics four years ago, was instrumental in Nigeria securing the Rio Olympics ticket via the Afrobasket D’Tigers won last year.
Meanwhile, Complete Sports gathered that Oyedeji’s name was not among the first twelve players sent to the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC.
According to Complete Sports source, the former NBA player’s name was placed in the reserves list with one other player, meaning he is not considered good enough for the team except if injury occurs to one of the twelve players already registered for the Olympics.
“Well, I am surprised to see Olumide Oyedeji’s name missing in the first twelve players that will represent Nigeria at the Olympics and it was also funny that the NBBF placed his name in the reserves.
“I don’t know what has happened in the team’s camp in USA but I think this calls for concern,” a Complete Sports source said.
Meanwhile, D’Tigers who defeated Argentina in a build-up game on Monday will play against same Argentina, Croatia, Spain, Lithuania and host Brazil in the group stage of the Olympics.