Nigeria surprise US in pre-Olympic basketball exhibition match – Sport – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News

Nigeria stunned the United States in a pre-Olympic game on Saturday night in a game described as “one of the great upheavals in international basketball history”.

The 90-87 loss, which came nine years after the former African champions lost 83 points to the United States at the 2012 London Olympics, gave the Americans their first failure against an African nation.

Team USA, ranked number 1 by FIBA, started the match with a roster that included Nigerian-born player Bam Adebayo, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum.

The Nigerians, ranked 22nd, mentored by Golden State Warriors assistant head coach Mike Brown, had seven players currently playing in the NBA.

“In a way, I’m pretty happy that it happened,” said USA coach Gregg Popovich after the game.

“It doesn’t mean anything if we don’t learn any lessons from it. It could be the most important thing in this tournament for us.

Nigeria had a roster which included Miami Heat goalkeeper Gabe Vincent who finished the game with 21 points.

There were 42 three-pointers in the game. 20 of them were made by Nigerians.

“It was a demonstration and at the end of the day that doesn’t mean much to the standings,” said Mike Brown. “But it’s a good win for us. I don’t think any African team has been able to beat USA Basketball.

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Sara R. Cicero