Former Stanford star Nneka Ogwumike to skip Tokyo Games
Former Stanford star Nneka Ogwumike will not play for Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics after his appeal was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Ogwumike, along with Elizabeth Williams, had asked the CAS to grant them interim relief and add them to Nigeria’s list. Both WNBA players have been informed by FIBA that their request to play has been denied because they have been members of the US national program for too long.
“Although both players played for the United States after the age of 17 and participated in the qualification process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (in February 2020 and September 2019, respectively), they recently applied for a exceptional change of their national status, which FIBA refused, in accordance with the applicable rules, ”the organization posted on its website.
FIBA said the pair were not included in the list Nigeria submitted for the 2021 Olympics.
Ogwumike, who played at Stanford from 2008-2012, and his sisters Chiney and Erica have dual citizenship with the United States and Nigeria. Both of their parents, Peter and Ify, were born in Nigeria and came to the United States before their daughters were born.
Chiney and Erica are both on the Nigerian roster – Cheney as an authorized naturalized player and Erica as a member of the national roster. Chiney asked CAS to change her status to Nigerian, potentially paving the way for Nneka as the only naturalized player, but that call was also rejected.
While players who compete for the United States team after the age of 17 are normally not allowed to play for another country, Nneka Ogwumike and Williams have been cleared by USA Basketball to play for Nigeria.
Ogwumike represented the United States at the 2018 World Cup and helped the Americans beat Nigeria in the quarterfinals. She had hoped to be on the US roster for Tokyo, but was dropped from the final roster.