Home SPORTS GIST Basketball TOKYO OLYMPICS: NIGERIAN BASKETBALLER CHIMEZIE METU QUESTIONS NIGERIA GOVERNMENT’S LACK OF SUPPORT

TOKYO OLYMPICS: NIGERIAN BASKETBALLER CHIMEZIE METU QUESTIONS NIGERIA GOVERNMENT’S LACK OF SUPPORT

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Farouq Oduola A.

Following the Nigeria’s men’s basketball team loss on Saturday, Nigerian basketball star Chimezie Metu and head coach Michael Brown slammed the country’s government and Olympic committee for failing to support their athletes in the Olympics.

The team finished the Olympics with a 0-3 record after losing to Italy 80-71 on Saturday.

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Blessing Okagbare, a Nigerian sprinter, was provisionally suspended after testing positive for human growth hormone, while ten track and field competitors were found ineligible for failing a drug test.

“Our government and the Nigerian Olympic Committee make it incredibly tough for us to go out there and simply focus on executing our sport,” Metu said following his team’s loss to Italy in the men’s preliminary round.

“It’s incredibly difficult to focus on the basketball game when you’re dealing with so much off the court,” he says.

Metu, who plays for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA, blamed a “lack of attention to detail” for complicating travel, hotel, and other difficulties for the 60 Nigerian athletes who travelled to Japan to compete, saying they felt “disrespected and embarrassed.”

Some of Brown’s coaching staff were still detained in hotels, unable to assist the team, according to him.

“We feel horrible for the athletes,” Brown remarked, “since they don’t have the same advantages as other countries.” He is an assistant coach of the Golden State Warriors of the NBA.

The Nigerian Olympic Committee did not respond to a request for comment right away.

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