Andre Iguodala Was Invited to Try Out for Team Nigeria

by July 30, 2012

Andre Iguodala, whose father is Nigerian, turned down Team Nigeria when they repeatedly tried to recruit him for their Olympic squad. Per the Philly Inquirer: “Iguodala’s father is Nigerian. So he was invited to try out for – and in this case, ‘try out for’ means ‘make’ – the Nigerian Olympic squad. That team, which includes Penn grad Koko Archibong, will compete in these Games with nine American-born players on its roster. This is the first time Nigeria qualified for the Olympics, but with Iguodala aboard, who knows if the team would have made it sooner? ‘They’ve been trying to get here for a long time now,’ Iguodala said. ‘They’ve gotten here and they want to prove that they belong. They even had training camp in Dallas, in the States. It’s interesting. I’ve gotten calls from them a few times about participating.’ In 2004, the first time he was called, Iguodala was preparing for his rookie season with the 76ers. But that wasn’t what kept him from saying yes to a unique opportunity. ‘It was always my dream to play for the USA team,’ Iguodala said. ‘That’s where I grew up. I never gave it any serious thought. It didn’t feel right to me. I’ve never been there. I’ve never really had a chance to experience their culture, only from the outside looking in because of my father.'”