12 players who will represent Nigeria at the 2019 FIBA Men’s World Cup have been released.
The D’Tigers head coach, Alex Nwora made the final list known after their Peak Invitational Tournament victory against Poland and Montenegro.
Nwora listed Ike Diogu, a regular throughout the qualifying series alongside Ike Iroegbu, Benjamin Uzoh, Al Farouk Aminu, Zanna Talib and Stanley Okoye.
After series of impressive performances in the friendlies, Stockton Kings, Vincent Nnamdi booked a spot in the team alongside new kids on the block, Chimezie Metu, Jordan Nwora and Joshua Okogie.
2016/2017 EuroLeague championship winner and EuroLeague Final Four MVP, Ekpe Udoh will also be in line to make his debut for D’Tigers alongside Michael Eric
Nwora said the decision to drop Alade Aminu, Ike Nwamu and Deji Akindele who played major roles in the WC qualifiers was not an easy one.
“It was very hard pruning the team from 15 to 12 as required by FIBA. If I had my way, we would have registered all the 15 players for the World Cup because all these players have unique qualities that they bring to the team.”
Nwora who guided Nigeria to become the first country to qualify for the World Cup said expectations are high for the team to perform which has continued to motivate the entire team to go a step further.
“These are the best players we have at our disposal right now. We are very aware of expectations back home.
Recently, Nigeria currently ranked 33rd in the world defeated Dominican Republic (18th), Canada (23rd), Poland (25th) and Montenegro (28th) as part of their preparations for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Nigeria grouped alongside Argentina and Korea will start their world cup campaign against Russia on Saturday in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Uzoh Benjamin Chukwukelo (CB Caballeros de Culican)
Ireogbu Ike (Science City Jena, Germany)
Okogie Joshua Aloiye (Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA)
Nwora Jordan Ifeanyi (University of Louisville, USA)
Vincent Nnamdi Gabriel (Stockton Kings, NBA)
Aminu Al Farouq (Orlando Magic, NBA)
Stanley Okoye (Tecnyconta Zaragoza, Spain)
Diogu Ikechukwu Somto (Bayaman Vaqueros, Puerto Rico)
Zanna Talib (Montakit Fuenlabrada, Spain)
Ekpe Udoh (Utah Jazz, NBA)
Chimezie Metu (San Antonio Spurs, NBA)
Michael Eric (Darussafaka, Turkey)