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Aminu hopes more US-born Nigerians represent the motherland

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Aminu hopes more US-born Nigerians represent motherland - Sports Leo

Basketball player Al-Farouq Aminu hopes more United States-born Nigerians will represent their African nation in future events.

Aminu, 29, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but has represented Nigeria in the 2012 London Olympics. Since then he played for Nigeria in the 2015 Africa Championship (AfroBasket) in which he led his country to the title.

He also played in the 2019 AfroBasket for Nigeria and helped his country qualify for the Tokyo Olympics which have been postponed until next year.

Standing at 2.03m tall, Aminu started his professional career at the Los Angeles Clippers in 2010, before he spent three years at the New Orleans Hornets/Pelicans. A one-year stint followed in 2014 at the Dallas Mavericks, before representing Portland Trail Blazers from 2015 to 2019. Last year he signed for Orlando Magic, where he currently plies his trade.

Aminu urged his US-born countryman to take pride in their African roots.

“There are some other things we can do for our youth teams. A lot of our guys played for the US youth teams,  but I want them to see this as an opportunity as well, to be proud to play for the (Nigeria) national team,” Aminu was quoted as saying by completesports.com.

On playing in the AfroBasket, Aminu told fiba.basketball: “I feel really honoured (to have been a part of it),”

“I remember one of my friends saying to me: Thank you for what you did; you played for the national team in the prime of your career; some guys played when they were almost out of the league, or out of the league.

“I’ve given quality years to the national team. I’ve also had a purpose.

“My goal was obviously to win but with the situations we had, it would be tough to win a medal (at the World Cup) the way we wanted to, and while that’s what we try to do every time, sometimes you have to be realistic.

“I shifted one of my main goals of wanting Nigerian basketball to be held in a good light for a longer time, to have that longevity, and I’m really proud of that. I feel like that goal is being accomplished.”

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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