Recent LIU Brooklyn graduate Jamal Olasewere has spent the last couple of weeks at the Nigerian National Team’s training camp, but it was officially announced this week that he made the team and will compete in the FIBA Africa Championship in Ivory Coast later this month.
“So the final team has been picked, and I get to represent my home country Nigeria in the 2013 AfroBasket World Cup Qualifier,” Olasewere wrote on his Facebook page. “Whhaaaaatttt a blessing, what a blessing.”
Olasewere, who was born in Maryland, but is of Nigerian decent, has been with the team during training camp the past couple of weeks while they were in Florida. It’s not a huge surprise that he made the team considering that he was one of their starters in exhibition games.
The tournament starts on Aug. 21 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast when Nigeria takes on Mali. in the first of three seeding games. A 16-team tournament begins Aug. 26 and the top three teams get a spot in next year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. Nigeria finished third in the FIBA AfroBasket in 2011 behind Tunisia and second-place Angola.
Olasewere finished school as the all-time leading scorer in LIU Brooklyn’s history with 1,871 points, he was a two-time First Team All-Northeast Conference player and NEC Player of the Year in 2012-13. He averaged 18.9 points and 8.6 rebounds per game and shot 51.5 percent last season as LIU Brooklyn won its third consecutive NEC title. He went undrafted by the NBA even after working out for the Nets, Knicks, 76ers, and Celtics. This tournament will be a great way for him to showcase his skills to potential European professional teams.
Olasewere will be playing alongside former New Jersey Net Ben Uzoh on the Nigerian national team. Another former Blackbird, Kyle Johnson, will play in the FIBA European tournament on the Great Britain team.