Washington State’s basketball program should be well-represented when the Nigerian national men’s basketball team convenes for training camp ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Efe Abogidi, a second-year player for Kyle Smith who wrapped up an impressive freshman campaign in the Pac-12 Conference, will join former WSU guard Ike Iroegbu when Nigeria begins its Olympics training camp in San Francisco at the home facility of the Golden State Warriors.
Abogidi and Iroegbu will be two of 49 players competing for spots on Nigeria’s Olympic team. The pool of players includes current and former NBA players, professional players who are competing overseas and a handful of active college players, such as Abogidi.
One other current Pac-12 player, Oregon State’s Warith Alatishe, has been invited to Nigerian national team camp.
Although Abogidi never suited up for Nigeria’s senior national team, Iroegbu has represented the country at multiple international competitions, including the 2019 FIBA World Basketball Cup. In games against China, Ivory Coast, Korea, Argentina and Russia, Iroegbu averaged 21.2 minutes per game and scored 8.2 points per game to go with 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists.
Iroegbu also starred for Nigeria at the 2017 FIBA AfroBasket tournament, scoring 14.8 ppg to go with 5.0 apg and 4.5 rpg.
Nigeria finished second at the event, losing 77-65 to Tunisia in the championship game.
In four seasons at WSU, Iroegbu made 94 starts and left with 263 career assists, tied for 13th all time. Iroegbu’s assist average of 2.8 per game ranks 18th in program history.
The Sacramento, California, native has played professionally in the G-League in overseas since his college career ended and recently signed a contract for Elan Chalon of France’s top pro division.
Abogidi was an under-the-radar find for WSU after the 6-foot-10, 225-pound forward/center suffered multiple injuries that derailed his recruitment. The Delta, Nigeria, native was one of the Pac-12’s biggest surprises, earning all-freshman team honors in 2020-21 after averaging 8.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 1.3 blocks per game in 24.4 minutes per game.
Abogidi was one of only two players to play in and start in all 27 games last season and became the first WSU player to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Week since the award’s inception in 2019-20.
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