Former ASU star Diogu ready to shine in Olympics

Ike Diogu’s NBA career hasn’t gone as planned to this point, but the former Arizona State star can put one thing one his resume that few others can.


One of the most decorated players in ASU history and the ninth overall pick of the Golden State Warriors in 2005 will represent Nigeria, who earned the final spot in the London Games beating the Dominican Republic 88-73 Sunday in Caracas, Venezuela.

Diogu scored a game-high 25 points in the clincher and is still savoring the moment of being a part of the summer games later this month.

“It’s unbelievable,” Diogu told ‘Big Guy on Sports’ Tuesday. “It’s just a testament to how hard we worked from day one. It feels so great and satisfying to be part of Nigerian history.”

Although Diogu was born and raised in Garland, Texas his parents moved to the states from Nigeria in 1980 to pursue further education. Both of his brothers were born in Nigeria and several family members still reside there.

He is aware Nigeria is a long-shot to medal because most of the countries resources are focused on soccer, not basketball. He admitted the hoops team is working with a limited budget, but knows he and his teammates will put forth a great effort against the world’s best.

Diogu, who has bounced around seven different teams in seven years, believes he’ll be able to find the right fit and stick in the NBA.

“Unfortunately, I’ve had some injuries,” he explained on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “I felt like I haven’t got the opportunity that I felt I deserved. I showed and proved to everybody that I’m still a high-level NBA talent when I played in the World Championships. I’m finally healthy. People should expect to see me back in the NBA this season.”

He played in China this past season after being released by the San Antonio Spurs back in January.