Olumide Oyedeji

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 de Janeiro, 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 African Championship in Senegal 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 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 to Nigeria securing the Rio Olympics ticket at the Afrobasket Championship D’Tigers won last year.

However, there are speculations that Oyedeji’s name was not on the list of first 12 players sent to the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

The former NBA player’s name was reportedly 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 12 players already registered for the Games.

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 Rio2016.