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Blazers’ Al-Farouq Aminu will play for Nigeria at 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers in September

Al-Farouq Aminu, Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu represented Nigeria in the 2012 Olympics, but he hasn’t played for the national team since 2015. However, Aminu will return to D’Tigers for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup qualifiers this September, according to Lindsay du Plessis of KweséESPN.

Aminu and Nigeria will be in action from Sept. 14-16 in Lagos, with matchups on deck against Senegal, the Ivory Coast, and the Central African Republic.

“The tournament is in September, and I just talked to my team-mates, we have a Whats App group chat, and I realised there was a need for me to play.

“And they’re playing in Nigeria so it needed to be done.”

Aminu was born in the United States, but he holds dual citizenship because of his father and has good reasons for playing for Nigeria.

“It’s had a bigger impact.

“Not to say the US can’t use help or whatever, but basketball-wise, to be able to grow the game… Things like BwB opened my eyes to the needs of the continent when it comes to the sport, so it was an easy decision for me to play for the Nigerian national team.”

Nigeria was actually in Team USA’s group in the 2012 Olympics, though Aminu and Co. struggled to a 1-4 record and didn’t advance. However, they did win the 2015 AfroBasket tournament with Aminu playing a lead role, which automatically qualified them for the 2016 Olympics. Aminu didn’t participate in those Olympics due to commitments to Portland.

Aminu is clearly excited to represent Nigeria once again, and it will be a good tune-up before Blazers training camp begins.