Report: FIBA denies Nneka Ogwumike's petition to play for Nigeria at Olympics
FIBA has denied Nneka Ogwumike's petition to play for her native Nigeria at this summer's Olympics in Tokyo due to her more than 10 years of "substantial involvement" with USA Basketball, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Mechelle Voepel.
The Los Angeles Sparks star is reportedly exploring all her options, including an application to the Court of Arbitration in Sport.
Ogwumike received permission from USA Basketball to play for Nigeria after being left off the U.S. Olympic team roster. The Nigerian Basketball Federation is appealing FIBA's decision to exclude the former WNBA MVP from competing.
"We do tacitly believe there are undercurrents and motivation for such a decision which is repugnant to natural justice, equity, and good conscience," the Nigerian federation wrote in a letter to FIBA, obtained by Shelburne and Voepel.
"It is also out rightly discriminatory because players of African descent are approved to play for other countries constantly, but the reverse is not the case."
Ogwumike's sisters, Chiney and Erica, were given the green light to play for Nigeria. All three were born in the U.S. but hold dual citizenship.
The 31-year-old was a key member of the Americans' past two World Cup-winning squads. Ogwumike's earned six All-Star nods, five WNBA All-Defensive team selections, and four All-WNBA selections since being taken No. 1 overall by the Sparks in the 2012 draft.