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AfroBasket: Coach Assures Gbinije On Tigers’ Role

Head coach of the Nigeria national men’s basketball squad, William Voight, has said that University of Syracuse guard, Michael Gbinije, has a good chance of making Nigeria’s team to this month’s AfroBasketball competition in Tunisia.

The Nigerian team, otherwise known as the D’Tigers, are working out and playing exhibition games in Paris in preparation for the African Basketball Nations Cup.

The games in Tunisia, scheduled for Aug. 19 to 30, will determine which African basketball team qualifies for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

If Nigeria finishes second or third in the tournament, it could still reach Rio through the FIBA qualifying tournament. “They’ve been talking to Syracuse about him for a while,” Michael’s father, Frank Gbinije, said. “Things just kind of fell into place. He would have left much earlier.

“They wanted him to meet them in Nigeria in July, but he had to get his passport and his travel papers straight. He missed the first week of camp in Nigeria and the first week of camp in Paris.”

“There is a level of concern for me from a security standpoint of him traveling overseas,” Frank Gbinije said. “I’m a little bit nervous. But I’m pretty excited for him. He’ll have a chance to play for the Nigerian team. And the winner (of AfroBasket) gets an automatic bid to the Olympic Games next year.”

-Oladipo Okubanjo

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