Former ASU Guard Promise Amukamara Helps Nigeria Basketball Qualify For Tokyo Olympics
The Australia, Nigeria and Canada women’s basketball teams qualified for the Tokyo Olympics in tournaments concluding Sunday, all with players or coaches with Arizona ties.
Australia is coached by the Phoenix Mercury’s Sandy Brondello. The national team roster includes Mercury guard Leilani Mitchell, currently an unrestricted free agent, and forward Alanna Smith.
Mitchell had 19 points and four assists Sunday in an Olympic berth clinching 86-72 win over Brazil in Bourges, France.
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Nigeria clinched its Olympic berth after spitting its first two games in a qualifying tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. The Nigerian team include former Arizona State guard Promise Amukamara and former Arizona forward Ike Ibekewe.
On Sunday, Nigeria led 40-26 at halftime over the U.S. And 57-50 after three quarters but failed to complete the upset, losing 76-71. Amukamara had two points and five assists in that game.
Amukamara, 26, played from 2012-15 at ASU. She is from Glendale, attending Apollo High School.
Canada qualified by winning its first two games in Ostend, Belgium. Shaina Pellington, who is redshirting this season at Arizona after transferring from Oklahoma, is a guard on the Canadian national team.
The Canadians finished 3-0 after edging Japan 70-68 on Sunday.
The U.S. Qualified for the Olympics by winning the 2018 FIBA World Cup but also played in Serbia with a roster that included Mercury center Brittney Griner.
The 6-9 Griner was instrumental in the U.S. Comeback Sunday vs. Nigeria, scoring a team high 18 points.
Griner, expected to re-sign with the Mercury next week, and Mercury guard Diana Taurasi, a four-time Olympian, are strong contenders to be on the U.S. Olympic team in Tokyo.
The full Tokyo women’s basketball field is: U.S., host Japan, Canada, China, France, Nigeria, Australia, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Spain and Korea.
More: Building Team Arizona for Tokyo Olympics: Local connections in 2020 Games
Reach the reporter at jeff.Metcalfe@arizonarepublic.Com or 602-444-8053. Follow him on Twitter @jeffmetcalfe.
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This article originally appeared on The Republic | azcentral.Com: Former ASU guard Promise Amukamara helps Nigeria basketball qualify for Tokyo Olympics