Written by: Colin Udoh, ESPN
Nigeria’s pre-Olympic scrimmages against three of the top four teams in the world, with wins against the USA and Argentina, indicate that D’Tigers winning a medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo is not that far-fetched.
They rounded off their pre-Olympic qualification on Tuesday by suffering a 108-69 blowout loss to number three-ranked Australia, a team they will face in their opening game at the Olympics later this month.
But heavy as that defeat was, it had already been tempered by the US win in particular, and instantly threw the spotlight on a team that had been struggling for recognition, even back home.
No-one expected the Nigerians to beat the world’s best side. In two previous meetings, the Americans had claimed victory by over 80 and 40 points respectively.
At best, the expectations were for a much closer margin of defeat. But this iteration of D’Tigers, led by Golden State Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown, had other ideas.
Continue reading on ESPN: Can Nigeria’s D’Tigers win more than just hearts in Tokyo?