Duke basketball champ looking to revitalize career in Olympic Games

Former Duke basketball champ Jahlil Okafor
Former Duke basketball champ Jahlil Okafor /

Former Duke basketball champ Jahlil Okafor is looking to revitalize his career at the Olympics. 

After a promising rookie season for former Duke basketball center Jahlil Okafor, the career of the National Champion has been slowly deteriorating as the NBA has been transitioning away from the traditional big man.

However, the 6-foot-10 forward will have a chance to prove this worth this year in Tokyo at the Olympic Games as he competes with Team Nigeria.

Okafor, who is playing in his first-ever Olympics, played with the Detroit Pistons this season but only appeared in 27 games and averaged 12.9 minutes, 5.4 points, and 2.4 rebounds per game.

Nigeria sports eight NBA players on its 16-man roster, headlined by Miami Heat rookie forward Precious Achiuwa along with Okafor.

Duke basketball continues to see players heading to Olympic Games

Jahlil Okafor will be the second former Duke basketball player to compete in the Olympic Games this summer as Jayson Tatum was named to Team USA’s roster.

Former Blue Devil RJ Barrett would have played for Team Canada this summer, but the country did not qualify for the men’s basketball competition.

Nigeria has been slated into Group B at the Olympics alongside Australia, Italy, and Germany.

ALSO READ: Jayson Tatum bestowed great honor prior to Olympics

Despite the excitement over playing at the international level, the Olympic Games will be held without spectators this year as Japan has declared a state of emergency over the rising COVID-19 cases in the country, specifically related to the new variants related to the virus.

There has been no talk of canceling the games after having to postpone the event one year because of the pandemic.

Most NBA players have some experience playing without fans, whether it came in the Disney Bubble last summer or in empty buildings at the beginning of this NBA season.

Jahlil Okafor and Team Nigeria begin competition on Sunday, July 25 at 4:20am EST against Australia.

Next milestone victory for Mike Krzyzewski in final season. dark. Next