This morning, Nigeria completed their 2013 FIBA African Championships with a win vs Morocco in the seventh-place game but will leave the Ivory Coast very much disappointed as they failed to qualify to next summer’s FIBA World Cup of Basketball in Spain. They needed a top three finish in this tournament to qualify. Nigeria finished 5-2 in the 2013 AfroBasket but the loss to Senegal in the quarterfinals, a 64-63 loss, is what destroyed their hopes for qualifying for the 2014 FIBA World Cup.
LIU alum and 2013 NEC Player of the Year Jamal Olasewere wrapped up his first international tournament experience with Team Nigeria. Here were his stat lines from all seven AfroBasket games:
|Mali||W, 74-59||22||6||2/6||1/3||1/2||3 (1)||3||0||1||2||1|
|Congo||W, 93-75||19||5||2/6||0/2||1/3||3 (3)||2||0||0||4||1|
|Cameroon||W, 91-84||22||6||2/8||0/1||2/4||1 (0)||1||0||0||2||3|
|Cent. Afr. Rep. (Rd16)||W, 112-75||14||14||5/9||0/1||4/4||5 (2)||1||0||1||1||1|
|Senegal (QF)||L, 64-63||18||4||1/3||1/2||1/2||2 (2)||0||0||0||5||1|
|Cape Verde (5-8 SF)||L, 79-76||11||6||2/5||2/3||0/0||1 (1)||2||0||0||0||4|
|Morocco (7th Pl. Gm)||W, 105-87||19||0||0/2||0/2||0/0||0 (0)||2||1||0||1||2|
Olasewere finished the 2013 AfroBasket averaging 5.8 ppg/2.1 rpg/1.5 apg in 17.8 minutes per game through the seven games, all coming off the bench. He shot 14 of 39 (35.8%) from the field, 4 of 14 from three (28.5%), and 9 of 15 from the charity stripe (60%).
His best game statistically came in the blow out win against Central African Republic in which he had a tournament-high 14 points and 5 rebounds in 14 minutes and was perfect from the free throw line (4/4) and was above 50% shooting from the floor.
You have to imagine this was a great learning experience for Olasewere. He got to play with some bigger and more experienced players on his team including some current and former NBA players and got to see first-hand what international competition is all about. This experience allowed him to see what are his strengths and what he needs to work on to have a great first year in professional basketball and have a long pro career for himself.
Olasewere can now look forward to the start of his professional career as he begins his journey in Italy in the Italian Serie A basketball league as his new club, Vanoli Cermona, starts their 2013-14 season on October 13.