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Editorials, NBA Africa, Sports

FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifiers: Chimezie Metu to Represent Nigeria

Nigerian basketball fans rejoice as Phoenix Suns’ Chimezie Metu, confirms his commitment to represent Nigeria in FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifiers.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 4th July 2023
Nigerian basketball fans rejoice as Phoenix Suns' Chimezie Metu, confirms his commitment to represent Nigeria in FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifiers.

Nigerian basketball fans have reason to celebrate as Chimezie Metu, the talented forward for the Phoenix Suns in the NBA, has confirmed his commitment to play for Nigeria in the upcoming FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament to be held in Lagos.


The announcement was made through the social media account of the D’tigers, where he expressed his excitement and honor in joining the Nigerian national team for the prestigious basketball event.


“This is one of the most important windows in the history of basketball in Nigeria, I’ll be there ready to go”



Born in Los Angeles, California, Chimezie Metu is of Nigerian descent, and his commitment to play for the country of his heritage has been met with widespread support and enthusiasm from basketball enthusiasts in Nigeria. His decision is a testament to the increasing appeal and growth of Nigerian basketball on the international scene.


Chiemzie made his debut for Nigeria at the 2019 FIBA World Cup held in China. Moreover, Metu’s presence and extensive NBA experience will unquestionably strengthen Nigeria’s roster in the FIBA tournament. Not only can he contribute points both inside and outside the paint, but his defensive skills are also exceptional. These attributes will serve as valuable assets for the national team as they encounter formidable challenges from other African teams competing for a place in the Olympics Qualifiers.


Metu recently left the Sacramento Kingson after the expiration of his contract to team up with the Phoenix Suns.




Nigeria’s senior men’s national team, DTigers will play in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments from August 12-20, 2023 in Lagos. The FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Lagos is a crucial competition, and Nigeria’s national team is aiming to secure their place in the Paris Olympics. 


Nigeria, along with 39 other countries that were unable to qualify for the 2023 FIBA World Cup, has been granted a second chance to qualify for the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.


Countries that emerge victorious in a Pre-Qualifying Tournament will have the opportunity to compete in one of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments scheduled for next year. The winners of these tournaments will secure their spots in Paris.


D’Tigers will face Senegal, Mali, and Uganda in Group A. Group B consists of Tunisia, Cameroon, DR Congo, and Guinea.


Five winners from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Americas will earn spots in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments to be held in July 2024.




As the tournament draws near, expectations are high, and all eyes will be on Metu and the Nigerian national team as they aim to secure their spot in the Paris Olympics Qualifiers. The announcement of Metu’s commitment has already created a buzz in the basketball community, and fans are eagerly anticipating the moment when he takes the court for Nigeria.



In addition to Metu, the D’tigers have recently confirmed the participation of NBA G League players Ike Ndugba and EJ Anosike. Furthermore, the remaining players for the squad will be revealed at a later date.


The NBBF possesses an abundance of talented individuals that can be called upon for the D’tigers. However, it ultimately depends on whether the NBA stars accept the invitation or not. It should be noted that Nigeria last fielded a star-studded team back in 2021, where eight out of the fifteen players selected for the Olympics represented NBA clubs.



Nigeria’s national team is poised for a spirited run in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament, hoping to fulfill their dream of competing at the pinnacle of international basketball in the Paris Olympics.


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