Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie plans to acquire a Nigerian passport and represent the country in the Olympics, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Dinwiddie’s decision comes after he was left off the list of 44 finalists for Team USA that was released in February.
Dinwiddie will join several other NBA players on the Nigerian team, which is coached by Warriors assistant Mike Brown. Dinwiddie’s teammates will include Al-Farouq Aminu, Josh Okogie, Chimezie Metu and Ekpe Udoh. Nigeria has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics as the highest-ranked African team at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
The addition of Dinwiddie will bring some extra firepower to an already-strong team. He was averaging career highs with 20.6 points and 6.8 assists through 64 games before the NBA season was put on hold.
Brown, who was named as Nigeria’s head coach in February, talked recently to Marc J. Spears of The Athletic about the advantages of having the games postponed until 2021.
“It helps from the standpoint of there are a lot of teams that have been together … the players, especially. A lot of countries have players who have grown up playing together on national teams or All-Star teams,” Brown said. “There are a lot of coaches out there that are in charge of programs that they have been a part of for many years. To have another year to grasp, not only the talent level of the team, but the direction the team needs to go and making sure we are able to put the best Nigerian team out there, it’s a welcomed advantage to have a little bit more time for a new guy like myself.”