Ike Diogu, Former Sun Devil, Leads Nigeria To Final 2012 London Olympics Basketball Spot

on July 09 2012 12:53 PM

Ike Diogu has made his alma mater, Arizona State University, and his parents' native Nigeria proud after his play helped the African nation become the last country to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics in basketball.

Ike Diogu, who had been a journeyman in the NBA for seven years before playing overseas earlier this year, was named MVP of the 2012 London Olympics qualifying tournament after scoring 25 points and nabbing 10 rebounds for Nigeria in an 88-73 victory over the Dominican Republic in the third-place game of the tourney.

Diogu, 28, was born in the United States and grew up in the Dallas area. His parents are both natives of Nigeria.

The Dominican Republic tied the game in the beginning of the fourth quarter, but Diogu was clutch, nailing two three-pointers that aided Nigeria to victory, the Sporting News reported.

Both teams had NBA players on their squads -- Francisco Garcia and Al Horford suited up for the Dominican Republic while Nigeria had Diogu and Al-Farouq Aminu, according to the Sporting News.

The Dominican Republic, coached by the University of Kentucky's John Calipari, and Nigeria were playing for the final spot in the 2012 London Olympics. The qualifying tournament was played in Caracas, Venezuela

Nigeria's victory was celebrated all the way from Africa to the Phoenix area, where Arizona State's campus is located.

Congrats to Ike Diogu for earning a trip to the Olympics with Nigeria !, tweeted Arizona State Sun Devils men's basketball coach Herb Sendek. 3 Sun Devil hoopers going to London !

Sendek was referring to Diogu, the Oklahoma City Thunder's James Harden and overseas player Eric Boateng, who all attended ASU. Diogu will play for Nigeria, Harden will represent Team USA and Boateng will suit up for Great Britain.

Nigeria is going to the Olympics in basketball. Great for them. Dallas' Ike Diogu was big time! tweeted ESPN's Fran Fraschilla.

Ike Diogu's feat caused Ike Diogu to trend in the Phoenix area Monday on Twitter.

We can always count on our fans to keep us honest! We're excited for our former athletes! Ike Diogu will represent Nigeria at the Olympics, tweeted the Arizona State Sun Devil athletics Twitter account.

Congrats to Ike Diogu for earning a trip to the ?#Olympics with Nigeria, wrote Twitter user Ikem Tan.

Nigeria will be the second African nation to be featured in the 12-team tournament at the London Olympics. Tunisia made the tourney since they are the continental champions.

Three teams from the qualifying tournament earned spots to the 2012 London Olympics. Russia and Lithuania are also headed to the Olympics.

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