Syracuse Orange rising senior guard Michael Gbinije has made the Nigerian national team and will play with them in the FIBA African Championship. Gbinije spoke of his decision to Donna Ditota of Syracuse.com, as the winner of the tournament will go on to play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
“Playing for the Nigeria national team is not only a unique opportunity, but it is also a blessing in which I truly appreciate,” Gbinije wrote. “Making the Olympics would be an awesome experience if we qualify.”
A 6-foot-7, 200 pound combo guard, Gbinije averaged 12.7 points, five rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game for Syracuse last season and shot 46 percent from the field while draining 39 percent of his threes. His father, Frank emigrated from Nigeria to the United States in the 1980s and played basketball at Temple University.
Regardless of whether or not Nigeria goes on to clinch a trip to the Olympics, Gbinije will at least be able to live the rest of his life knowing that he had the honor to represent a national team, an honor that only a select few have.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports