Al-Farouq Aminu pulls out of Rio Olympics, will not play for Nigeria


Portland swingman Al-Farouq Aminu helped his native Nigeria qualify for the 2012 London Olympics and he played in those Game. Then he helped Nigeria qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics with a strong performance to help Nigeria win its first AfroBasketball tournament last summer.

But when Team USA faces Nigeria in the final pre-Olympics tune-up for both teams Monday night in Houston, Aminu will not be on the court. Nor will he be in Rio. Aminu released this statement through the Trail Blazers Sunday.

“Due to continued and unresolved organizational challenges with the Nigerian Basketball Federation, I’m withdrawing from participation in the 2016 Olympic Games. I wish the Nigerian players, coaches and staff great success in the Olympics and hope to participate in future opportunities with the national team.”

Nigeria said on twitter the issue is insurance. Festus Ezeli also is not playing for Nigeria for insurance reasons.

The biggest name on Nigeria now is likely former NBA player Ike Diogu, or new Pistons rookie and former Syracuse star Michael Gbinije.