Diogu Leads Nigeria To London, final spot

HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — The Men’s Basketball Olympic field is set. Nigeria earned the 12th and final spot in London with a huge 88-73 victory over the Dominican Republic in the third place game of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela on Sunday.

Ike Diogu, the former Warrior/Pacer/Blazer/King/Clipper/Spur, was the star for Nigeria, who qualified for the Olympics for the first time ever. Diogu scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and hit 10 of 14 shots.

Nigeria led 47-39 at the half, but the game was tied with less than six minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Diogu came up huge down the stretch though, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers as Nigeria scored 29 points in the final period to win going away. The Hornets’ Al-Farouq Aminu played the Scottie Pippen role, finishing with 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and five blocks.

The Kings’ Francisco Garcia led the Dominican with 17 points. Al Horford dealt with foul trouble and had just 12 points in 29 minutes.

The London games begin July 29. Here is the 12-team field…

Field for 2012 Olympics
Team How
United States 2010 World Champion
Great Britain Host
Tunisia FIBA Africa Champion
Australia FIBA Oceania Champion
Argentina FIBA Americas Champion
Brazil FIBA Americas 2nd place
Spain Eurobasket Champion
France Eurobasket 2nd place
China 2011 FIBA Asia Champion
Lithuania 2012 Qualifier
Russia 2012 Qualifier
Nigeria 2012 Qualifier

The U.S. is in Group A with Argentina, France, Lithuania, Russia and Tunisia. They’ll play their first exhibition game against the Dominican Republic on Thursday in Las Vegas. You can watch that one (taped) at 12 a.m. ET on NBA TV.


  1. Hi,I thank you for forwarding this information to me. It is comprehensive and detailed. Compared to what I heard ,and watched on television.Would you be going to the olympic ? We may likely meet there. Thanks. Matthew

  2. Francis says:

    This is yet another instance of why Mr. John Calipari should stick to College BB– ONE & GONE?? I am sure Charlie Alexander Villanueva is smirking right now. The only dead weight the DR national team should loose is the coach.

  3. caps says:

    I’m so happy Nigeria made it.. But we’re in the same pool as the U.S….LOOOL. Who will guard lebron/kobe.
    Best of luck in London!

  4. beejay A says:

    Nigeria could be the dark horse…couple NBA players.. Al F Aminu & Diegou are beasting right now..they really took Dominican to the cleaners…

  5. Pedro Frade says:

    Russia is in group B. Nigeria will be in group A

  6. Fefe (Nets) says:

    And so happy for Nigeria, they play with heart and resilience. We’ll see Dominican Republic in 2016.

  7. Fefe (Nets) says:

    Aie aie aie – both groups are very good, but in my opinion Group A is bit tougher. My national team’s squad (France) can win against USA I’m certain about it (even if chances are slim, like 2-5%). USA of course is the clear favorite to win the gold medal and go undefeated, but have to be careful in a group made of France, Russia, Argentina, Lithuania, Tunisia

  8. Vilius says:

    Actually Russia is in group B and Nigeria is in A.