Former Stanford star Neneka Ogwumike will not play for Nigeria at the Tokyo Olympics after her appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Ogwumike along with Elizabeth Williams had asked CAS to give him a temporary fix and add him to the Nigeria roster. The pair of WNBA players were informed by FIBA that their plea to play had been denied because they had been members of the US national program for too long.
“Although both players played for the USA after the age of 17 and participated in the qualifying process for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (in February 2020 and September 2019 respectively), they have recently experienced an extraordinary change in their national status. requested, which was rejected by FIBA. Subject to applicable rules,” the organization posted on its website.
FIBA said the pair was not included in the Nigeria roster submitted for the 2021 Olympics.
Ogwumike, who starred at Stanford from 2008–12, and her sisters Chiney and Erika hold dual citizenship with the Unites States and Nigeria. Her parents, Peter and Ifi, were both born in Nigeria and immigrated to the United States before the birth of their daughters.
Cheney and Erica are both part of the Nigerian roster – Cheney allows the natural player and Erica as part of the country’s roster. The Chinese asked CAS to change their status to Nigerian, potentially clearing the way for Neneka to join as a natural player, but that appeal was also denied.
While players who compete for Team USA after the age of 17 are generally not allowed to play for another country, Neneka Ogwumike and Williams have been agreed by USA Basketball to play for Nigeria.
Ogwumike competed for the Americas at the 2018 World Cup and helped the Americans beat Nigeria in the quarterfinals. She had hoped to make the US roster for Tokyo, but was dropped from the final roster.