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Timberwolves’ Josh Okogie announces he’ll play for Nigeria at FIBA World Cup

Josh Okogie, Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves second-year shooting guard Josh Okogie announces that he’ll be competing for the Nigerian men’s national team in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Okogie, 20, was born in the West African nation before moving to Georgia and competing at Georgia Tech for two years. The Timberwolves selected the 6-foot-4 guard with the 20th pick in the first round of the 2018 NBA Draft.

As recent as Monday, there has been a flood of USA Basketball players turning down the opportunity to play for the national team, with Tobias Harris, Zion Williamson and Bradley Beal announcing they’re removing themselves from the short list. That’s not the only news of the international talent pool shrinking ahead of the FIBA World Cup, with Al Horford dropping out of playing for the Dominican Republic and Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea a no-go for Puerto Rico.

Ben Simmons also announced he won’t be competing for Australia too.

The United States’ men’s basketball team have won the World Cup tournament the last two turns and won bronze in 2006. Nigeria has yet to medal in the tournament held between the Summer Olympics.

Okogie averaged 7.7 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 23.7 minutes per game and 74 appearances in his rookie season, shooting 38.6 percent from the field, 27.9 percent from deep and 72.8 percent from the free throw line.