A double header of Sunday games slated to kick off with the USA Women’s Basketball Team playing against Nigeria, followed by the USA Men’s Basketball Team playing against Spain.
USA Women’ Basketball – 5:30 PM, vs. Nigeria, at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Nevada, on NBCSN
Coming off a disappointing loss to the Liz Cambage-less Australia team, the USA Women’s team is looking to get right in their last exhibition matchup prior to traveling to Tokyo, against Nigeria. The game against Australia featured the USA Women shooting a paltry 37 percent from the field. With a loss already to the WNBA All-Stars, the USA Women will look to bounce back and get some momentum prior to playing in the Olympics. Of course, don’t forget to check out Mystics’ stars Tina Charles and Ariel Atkins.
As for Nigeria, up until a few days ago the Nigerian women’s team featured very few players who have played in the WNBA compared to the USA Women. Only Promise Amukamura, Evelyn Akahtor, and Ify Ibekwe had previous WNBA experience.
The Ogwumike sisters – Chiney, Nneka, and Erica – requested the opportunity to join Nigeria’s National team, but Nneka on Friday was denied by FIBA due to “significant involvement” with the USA Basketball team, which is in reference to Nneka’s previous experience with USA basketball. Nneka and Chiney have both been long time stars in the WNBA and certainly would have boosted Nigeria’s chances if both were added to the roster. Should be interesting to see how soon Chiney and Erica will be incorporated with the Nigerian team and if Nneka can win her appeal.
USA Men’s Basketball – 9 PM, vs. Spain, at Michelob ULTRA Arena at Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas Nevada, on NBCSN
It’s been an eventful few days for the Men’s Basketball Team who are going to play their first game in 5 days and their first game without Wizards Guard Bradley Beal. Beal, who has been ruled out of Olympic play due to health and safety protocol, was replaced on the roster along with Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love, who is suffering through a lingering calf injury, by Spurs forward Keldon Johnson and former Wizards center JaVale McGee. The USA team was scheduled to play their first game after these recent transactions against Australia on Friday, but that game was canceled due to health and safety protocol. The game on Sunday evening will be important because it will be the final tune up game before the team heads to Tokyo for the real games.
On the other side, Spain will feature some familiar active NBA players like Ricky Rubio, Marc Gasol, Wily and Juan Hernangomez. This team also has former NBA players Pau Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, Alex Abrines, Sergio Rodriguez, and also includes potential 2021 NBA draft prospect Usman Garuba. Needless to say this team has a lot of professional experience and will be a tough matchup for the USA Men’s team.