Basketballghana.com can confirm basketball world governing body FIBA has ruled against Nneka Ogwumike in her quest to play for Nigeria’s National Women’s Basketball Team.
Nicknamed D’Tigress, Nigeria is Africa’s sole representative at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and is in Group B with defending Champion USA, France and Japan.
The former WNBA Most Valuable Player award winner has played for the United States of America at the senior level and has won the Basketball World Cup in 2014 and 2018.
However, she was surprisingly left off Team USA’s roster for the Tokyo Games prompting her decision to switch to Nigeria; the former Stanford standout’s parents are Nigerian.
Her denial by FIBA was due to “substantial involvement” with Team USA for a decade despite FIBA having the authority to give Ogwumike clearance to play for Nigeria on grounds of “interest of growth of basketball in that country”.
Ogwumike and her younger sister Chiney were released by Team USA earlier this month paving the way for them to seek a spot on Nigeria’s roster. Chiney won the World Championship with USA in 2012 and has been tagged a naturalized player which prevents her from making Nigeria’s roster since the allocated number has been picked up and could affect selection of players to the final roster..
Ghana’s leading basketball portal can confirm both sisters plan to appeal the ruling at the Court of Arbitration in Sports (CAS).
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter