Bam Adebayo was part of Team USA’s provisional roster for the 2019 FIBA World Cup last summer to compete for a chance to play in China. He was able to earn a spot on this provisional roster after several high-profile NBA players declined their invitation to play.
During final roster decisions, he was cut from the roster and wouldn’t be part of the team.
Now, just a year later, it seems that Nigeria may be using that to their advantage to persuade Adebayo to play for their international team. Adebayo’s father is Nigerian, which is one key reason for this even being a possibility. He recently told Colin Udoh of ESPN that he would consider the opportunity.
Just a few weeks before entering the bubble, Adebayo got news that his dad had passed away. In an interview with The Undefeated, he gave his thoughts on the situation and the relationship he had with his father.
“My father passed away, but I never really talked to him. He was around when I was younger, and then my mom moved to North Carolina. So, he kind of became distant. I can’t really credit him for a lot of stuff… But, at the end of the day, he did make me. So, I give him props for that.”
Adebayo could now have an opporotunity to represent his father and the country of Nigeria if given the opportunity. Musa Kida, Nigeria Basketball Federation President, recently talked about how he would like to have Adebayo on the D’Tigers roster for the Olympic Games next year in a release sent to ESPN.
“Having Bam in our national team is a possibility that we are considering as a federation ahead of the 2020 Olympics and beyond…We are excited about how far he has gone and what he can achieve in his career with D’Tigers if he chooses to play for Nigeria.”
Adebayo and the Miami Heat just finished up their season after losing to the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2020 NBA Finals. Playing for the Nigerian national team in the upcoming Olympics would be a unique opportunity for the 23-year-old rising star.