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Okoye eyes semifinal ticket as Japan battles Belgium

Nigeria born Japan basketball player Monica Okoye


Nigeria born Monica Okoye will be hoping to re-enact her impressive run against Nigeria as Japan face Belgium in search of semifinal ticket of the Women Basketball event.

The 22 year old born to a Nigerian father and a Japanese mother is counting her blessings that she settled for basketball where she is now making waves for the Japanese team.

Originally into hula dance while younger, Okoye who visited Nigeria for the first time at the age of 12 said she was not tickled by basketball but a tournament presented itself where she was asked to participate in basketball competition due to a shortage of players, and was named Most Valuable Player [MVP] at the tournament. “My mother asked me which one I preferred between basketball and hula dance, I chose hula dance without hesitation. I didn’t really like playing sports.

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However, the following day my mother contacted the hula dance class and said that I would quit. That’s how I began the sport. Like they say that is now history as she continues to enjoy her contribution even as the host dream of making it all the way to the final.

Japan beat Nigeria 102-83 to advance to the quarterfinals where they will face Belgium on Wednesday for a place in the semifinal.  In the other quarterfinal pairings of the women event,

China will face Serbia, Australia battle USA while Spain will slug it out with France.

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