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Freeman Cebu Sports

NBA and WNBA players in the Olympics

NBA BUZZ - Bobby Motus - The Freeman

There are 12 teams in the 2021 men’s and women’sn Olympic basketball tournament. 11 of the men’s team have at least one active NBA player. Only Iran is without any NBA player. Team USA have all the 12 players coming from the NBA, technically making them the “best” team in the tournament and are heavily favored to win the gold. Likewise, Team USA’s female counterparts in Olympic basketball are similarly favored to win it all. 

With the recent loss to France and counting the exhibition game loses to Nigeria and Australia, it is safe to say that the rest of the world is catching up to the “best” of the world. And their title chances could be in peril.

Next to the US, the Nigerian national basketball team has the most number of active NBA players, with 3 representing the Miami Heat (KZ Okpala, Gabe Vincent and Precious Achiuwa. The rest are Chimezie Metu (Sacramento), Miye Oni (Utah), Jahlil Okafor (Detroit), Josh Okogie (Minnesota) and Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee).

Australia has 7 players in Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland), Patty Mills (San Antonio), Joe Ingles (Utah), Josh Green (Dallas), Dante Exum (Houston), Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia) and Aron Baynes (Toronto). 

France has Rudy Gobert (Utah), Nicholas Batum (LAC), Evan Fournier (Boston), Frank Ntilikina (New York) and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (Brooklyn).

Marc Gasol (LAL) again represents Spain together with Ricky Rubio (Minnesota) and the Hernangomez brothers Juancho (Minnesota) and Willy (New Orleans).

Argentina is represented by Facundo Campazzo (Denver), Luka Vildoza (NYK) and Gabriel Deck (OKC).

Nico Mannion (GSW), Danilo Gallinari (Atlanta) and Nicolo Melli (spent the season in NOP and Dallas) represent Italy while Ike Bonga (Washington) and Mo Wagner (Orlando) wear the colors of Germany.

The Czech Republic has Tomas Satoransky (Chicago). Slovenia showcases Luka Doncic (Dallas) and Vlatko Cancar (Denver). Host nation Japan features Rui Hachimura (Washington) and Yuta Watanabe (Toronto).

On the women’s side, two other teams, aside from the US, have WNBA players on their rosters.

The Australian women’s team, which also defeated Team USA in an exhibition game has 5 legit WNBA players namely Alanna Smith (Phoenix Mercury), Ezi Magbegor and Stephanie Talbott (Seattle Storm), Bec Allen (New York Liberty) and Leilani Mitchell (Washington Mystics).

Canada boasts of Kia Nurse (Phoenix Mercury), Natalie Achonwa and Bridget Carlton of the Minnesota Lynx. Puerto Rico, Serbia and Nigeria have players from the US WNCAA.

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