Born in Nigeria, Josh Okogie was selected 20th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2018 NBA Draft. Okogie plays for the Nigerian national basketball team and was named a member of the World Team for the 2019 Rising Stars Challenge.
In the latest episode of NBA Africa Game Time, Okogie reflects on the evolution of his career, the current pandemic, social justice and talks about how he plans on becoming a bigger offensive threat for the upcoming season.
On social justice
“I feel like what has been happening in our country is unacceptable, very unacceptable, but what I am most glad about is we have a lot of people from different races now fighting the fight for us as well. And I am always glad to see the Whites, the Indians, the Italians, Native-Americans and all these different races of people coming together to fight the same battle. And I am always happy that the league always has our back when it comes to issues like these. ”
On representing Nigeria and playing for the Nigerian national team
“I have been thinking about playing with the national team for a long time, and I finally decided to do it last year. And it is probably one of the best decisions I have made in terms of basketball, because it’s more than just playing for your country, it’s more than just basketball. It’s like the brotherhood that I formed with the players, present and past, it’s just like a family and I am sad we weren’t able to play the Olympics this year, but whenever the Olympics do come I’m excited to represent the country, but not only represent the country, but represent Africa. ”
On the future of basketball in Africa
“I think the future is bright. I think there is a lot of talent in Africa, you just have to figure out ways to get that talent seen and develop that talent quicker. Obviously, we are heading in the right direction with (Basketball Africa League) coming into fruition, being able to have those coaches, bring up those players, and give the players a platform to grow.”
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