Veteran Nigerian international Power Forward Ike Diogu has stated he had decided to ditch national team duties with the D’Tigers long before a two year ban preventing Nigeria from competing in international basketball tournaments was placed.
Nigeria President Buhari penned his signature to the official announcement of the ban that has been put in place to solve issues crippling the basketball fraternity in the West African nation frought with leadership crises.
The 38 year old former Golden State Warriors player recently competed at the Basketball Africa League with Zamalek and won bronze with the Egyptian side.
He has since signed on to play in the BIG3 League for Bivouac that is owned by Rapper Snoop Dogg; the Big 3 is a professional 3×3 League set up by Rapper Ice Cube and has several former NBA players on its roster.
“I’ve actually been asked to play (BIG3) a number of years. It’s just that with all my national team stuff, I was never able to do it, but this was a year when things worked out schedule-wise so I figured I’d give it a go. There’s a lot of stuff going on with the national team right now, so I just decided to make a decision for myself based off some of the feedback I had been getting and not even necessarily about the ban either” he said to ESPN.
In his first game, Diogu registered three points, a block and a rebound in Bivouac’s 47-50 loss to 3’s Company. Bivouac has Corey Brewer, Gerald Green and Will Bynum on its roster while 3’s Company has Mario Chalmers, Michael Beasley and Brandon Rush on its roster.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah
@YawMintYM on Twitter