Nigeria's Aminu hopeful for FIBA AfroBasket 2017
Al-Farouq Aminu became Nigeria’s biggest absence at the Rio Olympics, but there is hope of his return for this summer's FIBA AfroBasket.
A key member of the D'Tigers over the past five years, Aminu was set to make his second straight Olympics appearance in Rio.
"I love playing for Nigeria. I love playing with my brother [Alade Aminu], with my teammates. It’s like a brotherhood. We keep in touch to this very moment." - Aminu
However, a week before the Games, the Portland Trail Blazers forward announced that he would be missing the Olympics because an insurance that would protect him if he got hurt wasn't in place in time.
Eventually, Nigeria returned home with a 1-4 record following Group Phase defeats to Brazil, Spain, Argentina and Lithuania.
With this year’s African championship taking place in August in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, some of the most frequently asked questions are ‘who is prepared to feature for Nigeria’? and ‘Will Aminu make his comeback’?
In an interview with FIBA.com, Aminu expressed his disappointment for giving Rio a miss, but he left the door open for Brazzaville.
"The Olympics is the pinnacle of everything," he said. "The way guys are being treated, it's disappointing. It's not something to be taken lightly. Hopefully, this whole situation raises awareness.
"I love playing for Nigeria. I love playing with my brother [Alade Aminu], with my teammates. It's like a brotherhood. We keep in touch to this very moment."
Nigeria beat Angola at the FIBA AfroBasket final in August 2015 with Aminu making it to the All-Tournament team.