Former Syracuse security guard Michael Gbinije is closer to representing Nigeria basketball at the Olympics
Syracuse, NY – Mike Gbinije cut Nigerian basketball down to 15 when the team suspends training camp in California and heads to Las Vegas ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Nigeria’s manager Mike Brown will eventually reduce the team to 12 before flying to Tokyo, where they will play their first game against Australia on July 25th.
The inclusion of Gbinije was announced on the Nigerian team’s official website.
The first cuts were made on June 25th on an initial group of 49 Nigerian team hopes. With the formation of the 15-man squad, Gbinije will travel to Las Vegas with the Nigerian team. There, Nigeria will play a number of games with the USA, Argentina and Australia. The USA-Nigeria game is scheduled for Saturday (July 10th) at 8 p.m. at the Michelob Ultra Arena in Mandalay Bay.
Gbinije, 29, pulled out of professional basketball last season because of Covid-19 concerns, despite playing for Nigeria in the AfroBasket 2021 tournament last winter. He trained in Austin, Texas, where he now lives.
He spoke last month about the possibility of creating a second-tier Olympic team. Gbinije was a member of the Nigerian national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. His father Frank is from Nigeria.
“I’m excited. I’m really looking forward to playing,” said Gbinije earlier last month. “Covid has restricted my basketball options this time, so any opportunity to play live action is good. I’m excited. I feel I’m ready. I’m just looking forward to playing against some NBA talent. “
One of those NBA talents will be Jerami Grant, the former Syracuse striker who is on the US squad.
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