''We will not be intimidated by those guys,'' Ike Diogu, a former top-10 NBA draft pick who has played 225 NBA games, said after Nigeria's 72-53 loss to Lithuania. ''A lot of us went to school in the U.S. and have played against those guys. We have no reason to feel overwhelmed.''
Nigeria guard Tony Skinn agrees.
''I mean, listen, man, I've been playing ball for a long time,'' said Skinn, who was part of George Mason's improbable Final Four run in 2006. ''At some point in time, I played against those guys or seen those guys play. A lot of us, obviously we're Nigerians, but we play in the States and I don't think we have that mentality to just come in the game and just, you know, get our (butts) whooped.''
Skinn and the Patriots beat Michigan State, North Carolina and Connecticut - all perennial powers who had been recent national champions. He wasn't afraid of those teams and he shows no fear of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or any other U.S. player, either.That's not what we're here for,'' he said. ''We're here to compete. We're competitors, and I think that everybody on the team has that approach.''
Meet the Nigerian team members:
1.Olumide Oyedeji Position:Center Height:6.10
Born on May 11, 1981 in Ibadan, Nigeria, Olumide is a Nigerian professional basketball player who is currently playing for the Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association. He is known most notably for his time at the American National Basketball Association.He was selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2nd round (42nd overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft.
2.lke Diogu:Position: Forward-Center Height:6’9
Ike Diogu, who had game-high totals of 25 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over the Dominican Republic, is described as the heart and soul of the Nigerian team. The 28-year-old Diogu was born in Buffalo, New York, and he’s part of a core group of Tigers who have both American and Nigerian citizenship.Ike Diogu played at Arizona State University and since turning professional, he’s played for seven NBA teams as well as teams in China and Puerto Rico
3.Richard Oruche Position:Guard Height:6’4
Oruche, 25, graduated from UIS in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He has been playing basketball professionally in Portugal for two seasons. Most recently, he played for the Associacao Academica de Coimbra where he averaged 15.4 points and 3.3 rebounds per game during the 2011-12 season.
4. Ejike Ugboaja (Picture unavail) Position:Forward
Ejike Ugboaja (born May 28, 1985) is a Nigerian basketball player. He is the first African player to be drafted by the American NBA straight from Africa (Cleveland Cavaliers, second round, 2006) without playing for any time for a European team or American college.
After having a try-out in Poland with Kager Gydnia, he now signed a pro-contract in Cyprus to play for Omonia Nicosia. The power forward was also a member of the junior-national team of Nigeria that competed in the World Championships in Argentina and the senior-national team that competed in the Commonwealth Games in Australia.
5.Adeola Dagunduro Position:Guard Height:6’5
Adeola Dagunduro was born on May 22, 1986 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He is a Nigerian American professional basketball player.After playing high school basketball at Inglewood High, Dagunuro then played College basketballat Mt. San Antonio College(2004-2005), Antelope Valley CC(2005-2007), and the University of Nebraska, where he played with the Nebraska Cornhuskers(2007-2009).
6.Abdul Alade Aminu Position:Forward Height:6’10
Abdul Alade Aminu was born September 14, 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and is a Nigerian American professional basketball player. He played college basketball with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Georgia Tech. He is currently playing for the French Pro A team Élan Chalon.His brother (below) Al-Farouq Amin plays in the NBA
7.Al-Farouq Aminu Position:Small Forward Height:6’9
Al-Farouq Ajiede Aminu was born on September 21, 1990, in Georgia, United States. He is an American born Nigerian basketball player for the New Orleans Hornets. Aminu was selected by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2010 NBA Draft with the 8th overall pick.
Aminu went to Norcross High School and was ranked as one of the top college recruits in the nation from the class of 2008. He was ranked #7 in the nation by Rivals.com and #13 by Scout.com.On December 14, 2011, the Clippers traded Aminu, and three other players to the New Orleans Hornets.
8.Ekene Ibekwe Position:Power Forward Height:6’9
Ekene Brian Ibekwe was born in 1985 in Los Angeles, California to Nigerian parents.Ibekwe played for the Carson High School’s Boys Basketball team, graduated from the University of Maryland at College Park and was a member of the Nigeria national basketball team at the 2006 FIBA World Championships where Ibekwe was one of the team leaders in points (4th) and rebounds (1st).
9.Aniekan Archibong Height:6’9
Aniekan Archibong was born in California,USA in 1981.He played professional basketball for Dusseldorf Giants from October 2009 to May 2010; BBC Bayreuth from August 2010 to May 2011; LTi Giessen 46ers in Germany between September 2011 and May 2012. In all three teams, he was the co-captain.He studied at University of Liverpool and University of Pennysylvania.
10.Chamberlain Oguchi Position:Guard/Forward Height:6’6
Born on April 28, 1986 in Houston, Texas.Oguchi played for the University of Oregonfor three years before transferring to Illinois State Universityin 2007. He is currently a member of the Nigeria National Basketball Team.Since 2009,he plays for STB Le Havre in France
Born on April 18, 1981 in Houston, Texas.He has played in both the top division in Spain, the Liga ACB, and in the second-tier European competition, the Eurocup.Obasohan represented Nigeria at the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan. He won the bronze medal at the 2011 FIBA Africa Championship. He is representing Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympic Games
12.Anthony Skinn Position:Guard Height:6’1
Tony Oludewa Jeffrey Skinn,1983 in Lagos, Nigeria and is a professional basketball player, and a former college basketball player, who played starting guard for the George Mason University Patriots.
In 2006, Skinn signed a contract to play with the Croatian club Split, of the Adriatic League, after he wasn’t drafted in the 2006 NBA Draft.In July 2007, Skinn was invited to play for the Orlando Magic at the Orlando Summer League.He signed on August 5, 2009, with Pistoia Basket of the Italian Second Division. On Oct 1st, 2010, Skinn signed with the New Yorker Phantoms of the German League.