A pair of former Blackbirds to play in international tourneys this summer

Jamal Olasewere and Kyle Johnson to play in international tournament this summer (Photo Credits: Bob Dea/northeastconference,org)

Jamal Olasewere and Kyle Johnson to play in international tournament this summer (Photo Credits: Bob Dea/northeastconference.org)

Two former LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds will get a chance to play for their respective country’s FIBA confederation tournament. One is veteran of international play while the other is a first-timer on his country’s senior national team.

Jamal Olasewere and Kyle Johnson have each been selected to join their respective country’s senior men’s national team for upcoming FIBA tournaments.

Jamal Olasewere, as was announced last week, is with the Nigeria senior men’s national team in Florida as they are in the midst of preparation for the upcoming 2013 FIBA AfroBasket, which is a tournament consisting of 16 qualifying African teams which is being held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast from August 20 through August 31. On Monday, before their game versus Venezuela, Olasewere put out this Instagram picture of himself in his Nigeria uniform wearing his customary number one.

The reigning NEC Player of the Year and LIU Brooklyn’s all-time career points scorer (1,871 points) told Dan Serafin of News 12 Brooklyn/Bronx that he will be playing for the Nigeria national team at the 2013 AfroBasket tournament.

The three-time NEC champ has appeared in the first two exhibition games against Venezuela which is serving as tune-up games for both sides. Nigeria has dropped both games thus far. Last Friday, Nigeria would let a double-digit lead slip away in the second half and would lose in overtime, 86-82. Then on Monday, Nigeria once again let a double-digit lead disappear and gave up a wide open jumper with 3.7 seconds remaining to lose another heartbreaker, 59-57.

The third and final game of their three-game exhibition series around the state of Florida will be played on Wednesday, July 31 at the University of Miami’s BankUnited Center in Coral Springs at 8pm ET. Unfortunately, there are no box scores available from these friendly or exhibition games that has Olasewere’s stats.

Kyle Johnson, a member of the LIU Brooklyn men’s basketball team from 2007-2011 and a member of 2010-11 NEC champions, will once again wear the uniform of Great Britain for the 2013 FIBA EuroBasket or European Basketball Championships as Johnson was selected to participate in the competition. The 2013 FIBA EuroBasket is being held in Slovenia and will take place from September 4 through September 22. Great Britain is one of 24 European teams involved in the tournament.

Johnson, who finished his LIU career with 1,433 points and 240 career made three-pointers, was a member of Great Britain Olympic team at the 2012 Summer Games in London. Johnson played in all five games for Team GB although he only played in 29 total minutes. He averaged 2.4 ppg and was 4 of 15 shooting. His best game was the team’s final game in their only win of the competition versus China, he scored 12 points and grabbed two rebounds in 12 minutes of play.

Great Britain will play in a series of seven exhibition games across Europe against various countries as they prep for the EuroBasket before starting the tournament on September 4 versus Isreal. Team GB will begin practice for this competition on August 2 and their first exhibition game will be on August 11 versus Puerto Rico in London.

Blackbirds Hoops Journal will be keeping tabs of these two former LIU stars as they compete in their separate FIBA tournaments and will be looking to provide stats and recaps of their performances on the blog as well as on Twitter.

Good luck to both Jamal and Kyle.

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