Nigeria basketball stars, Al Farouq Aminu, Ike Diogu and Chamberlain Oguchi have been listed among the top 10 African players of the last decade, Sportinglife.ng reports.
The D’Tigers trio were selected among the best 10 players by the FIBA Africa’s editorial team from a list of 55 African players based on their impact at club and/or national teams’ participations at FIBA competitions, which run from 2010 to 2020.
On Orlando Magic power forward, Al Farouq Aminu, FIBA Africa said: “Aminu’s first appearance with D’Tigers has coincided with the revival, and maybe, the highest moment of Nigerian basketball.
“The 29-year-old small forward has played a vital role in helping Nigeria shock the world as they became the first African team to secure an Olympic berth via FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Venezuela.
“Following a disappointing FIBA AfroBasket 2013 campaign where the star-studded Nigeria team finished seventh, Aminu returned two years later to help his country win their first-ever African title thanks to a convincing 74-65 win over then-defending champions Angola in the final.
“And although, Aminu sat out the 2016 Rio Olympics, he has helped Nigeria claim Africa’s best-placed team at FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, which qualified the D’Tigers for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.”
On Shimane Susanoo Magic power forward, Ike Diogu, FIBA said: “Just a few days before Nigeria travelled to Tunisia for what turned out to be a historic moment for their country’s basketball – as they won their first African title – Diogu got hurt. It was an unexpected experience, yet, he was so determined to make a difference that he watched the entire FIBA AfroBasket 2015 from the sidelines.
“Nigeria may have finished runners-up at FIBA AfroBasket 2017, but Diogu was huge. So much so, that he returned home with a special trophy, the Most Valuable Player award.
“Over the past decade, the 2.06m (6ft 9in) power forward became an inspirational figure for the D’Tigers never missing call up from his country.”
Commenting on 34-year-old Nigerian shooting guard, Chamberlain ‘champ’ Oguchi, FIBA Africa said:
“One of the biggest storylines at FIBA AfroBasket 2015 was the way Oguchi carried Nigeria to glory.
“Perhaps motivated by the last-minute decision that prevented him from playing at FIBA AfroBasket 2013, Oguchi arrived in Tunisia ready for revenge, and Nigerians thanked him for his masterclass performance as they won their first ever African title.
“And although the 1.96m (6ft 5in) shooting guard finished with a game-high 19 points in the final against Angola, it was his display in the semifinal against Senegal that epitomised his desperation to make history for Nigeria.
“Even though Oguchi has had some eye-catching displays with the D’Tigers uniform on – Oguchi’s FIBA AfroBasket 2015 performance was one for the ages. So much so, that he was named the tournament Most Valuable Player.
Others on the list top 10 includes, Souleyman Diabate (Cote d’Ivoire), Carlos Morais (Angola), Salah Mejri (Tunisia), Abdelali Lahrichi (Morocco), Gorgui Dieng (Senegal), Makram Ben Romdhane (Tunisia) and Eduardo Mingas (Angola).