News / Africa

Nigeria, Tunisia Tip Off London Olympic Men's Basketball

Tunisia's Makram Ben Romdhane (12) is defended by Nigeria's Koko Archibong (10) during the first half of a preliminary men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, July 29, 2012.Tunisia's Makram Ben Romdhane (12) is defended by Nigeria's Koko Archibong (10) during the first half of a preliminary men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, July 29, 2012.
x
Tunisia's Makram Ben Romdhane (12) is defended by Nigeria's Koko Archibong (10) during the first half of a preliminary men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, July 29, 2012.
Tunisia's Makram Ben Romdhane (12) is defended by Nigeria's Koko Archibong (10) during the first half of a preliminary men's basketball game at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London, July 29, 2012.
Sonny Young
LONDON — In the opening game of Olympic men's basketball competition, Nigeria edged African rival Tunisia Sunday, 60-56.

Both African teams were making their debuts in Olympic men's basketball. It looked like Nigeria, faster, stronger and quicker to the ball, was headed for an easy victory over Tunisia. "D'Tigers" of Nigeria led by as many as 19 points in the first half and took a 31-15 lead into the break.

But the Tunisians, the reigning African champions, rallied in the second half.  

Led by captain Amine Rzig, who had a game-high 18 points, the Tunisians closed the gap to two points late in the game.

Nigeria's Al-Farouq Aminu, who plays for the NBA's New Orleans Hornets club, made some key free throws at the end of the game to clinch the victory.  

He tallied 10 points and nine rebounds, while his older brother, 24-year-old Alade, had a team-high 15 points and nine rebounds.

Alade Aminu told VOA it was thrilling to be a part of Nigeria's first ever Olympic victory in men's basketball.
 
“History in the making right here," said Alade Aminu. "I feel like a living legend. I mean it is history of the Olympics, not having been here before. Everything we do is history from here on out. It is just a beautiful feeling. All my heritage and all my roots are in Nigeria, back home in Africa.  I know 120-million people back home are really happy.  We put Nigeria and basketball also on the map."

Alade Aminu also said the Tunisians showed a lot of fighting spirit with their second-half comeback.
 
“You gotta give Tunisia a lot of credit," he said. "They showed a lot of resilience. They could have folded. They could have said, 'OK, this is a better team.'  But they showed a lot of fight. So give a lot of credit to Tunisia. It is our job to try to make it look easy, but it was not easy. I mean they showed a lot of heart right there at the end. But luckily, we had a little grit and a little grind at the end to be able to pull it out."
 
The Aminu brothers were born in the United States to Nigerian parents.  They are part of a Nigerian Olympic team dominated by players with both Nigeria and U.S. citizenship.

In preliminary round action Tuesday, Nigeria will play Lithuania and Tunisia will take on the gold-medal favorite United States.

A crowd of almost 7,000 attended the Nigeria-Tunisia game at the Olympic Park Basketball Arena, one of the largest temporary venues ever built for an Olympics. The 12-team Olympic men's basketball tournament will culminate August 12th with the gold medal game.

You May Like

Multimedia US Defense Secretary: Iraqi Forces Lack 'Will to Fight'

Ash Carter criticizes Iraq's reaction to Islamic State; National Security Advisor Susan Rice echoed Carter's concerns in an interview on CBS More

Boko Haram Surrounds Havens With Land Mines

Chad and Cameroon say huge numbers of land mines planted by Boko Haram fighters along Cameroon's border with Nigeria are a danger to people, livestock and soldiers More

Women Activists for Peace Cross Korean DMZ

Governments of Koreas give international delegation of women peace activists permission to pass through heavily fortified boarder, but some critics say symbolic crossing only benefits Pyongyang More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs