“Our flight over there, we’re on the same flight with Venus and Serena Williams,” he said. “I have to meet Gabby Douglas. I have to meet [Novak] Djokovic, the tennis player; I also have a few photos of him. Walk around the [Olympic] Village, I saw Usain Bolt.
“It’s a beautiful country in Brazil. We have to look around a bit, eat some local food.”
This year’s Nigerian roster includes NBA players Josh Okogie, Jahlil Okafor, Gabe Vincent, Chimezie Metu, KZ Okpala and Precious Achiuwa.
Okoye was among those Nigerian players who were upset when ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith mispronounced some players’ names on Monday’s First Take and then said, “But the hell you’re pronouncing his name.” Smith ended up apologizing not only for these remarks, but also for comments he made on Monday about Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani.
“We’ve been dealing with comments like this for a long time,” said Okoye. “As a child, I was mocked for the way my name was spelled. My middle name is Onyekachukwu. People slaughtered my middle name, my last name. Lots of jokes about my origins.”
Okoye played for VMI when the school was part of the Big South Conference.
He was named Big South Player of the Year in 2013 as a senior player. He became the first Big South player to score more than 2,000 points, more than 900 rebounds, and more than 100 blocked shots in his career. Last summer he was named to the Big South’s All Decade team for 2010-19.