Nigeria men’s basketball team head coach, Julius Nwosu has hailed the patriotism shown by captain Ike Diogu towards the national team each time he’s called upon, as he led the team to qualifying for the next round of FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Australia.
The former Golden State Warriors and LA Clippers man averaged 19.7 points per game in three games played in Angola, plus a monster display in the 3rd game against Uganda were he scored 27 points, 6/7 from the 3-point range.
It will be recalled that Ike Diogu was controversially dropped from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics roster, a decision made by the GSW assistant Mike Brown, forcing Nigerian basketball lovers to express their dissatisfaction to the move. Julius Nwosu answering a question asked by basketball journo Kenny Bamidele on how he convinced Ike Diogu to rejoin the national team, said.
“The first thing I told him on behalf of Nigeria, on behalf of the people that love basketball in Nigeria I apologies for all the wrong that happened in the team and for not being in the Olympics as the captain of the team, and he said thanks.”
Julius Nwosu full of admiration for Diogu’s dedication to the team, stamped that he believes Ike is the most passionate player when it comes to the national team.
“I know how dedicated he is for the national team, I dont think anybody has more passion than him when it comes to the national team, he was more excited like ever, like nothing happened to be honest with you, he was telling me coach can you convince some players to come, regardless of what happened it is our country we have to keep the flag flying.”
Nwosu concluded “you can’t ask for anything more from a guy like that.”
Ike Diogu who was selected 9th overall in the first round of the 2005 NBA draft by GSW has since played professional basketball with 6 NBA side and 10 others from outside the NBA.