Timberwolves and Lynx announce Tokyo Olympics participants


The Minnesota Timberwolves recently announced that they will be bringing five of their team members (players and coaches) to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which are slated to start next month.

Goalkeeper Josh Okogie will represent Nigeria, forward Juancho Hernangómez and goalkeeper Ricky Rubio will represent Spain, and goalkeeper Leandro Bolmaro will play for Argentina while Timberwolves assistant coach Pablo Prigioni will serve as Spain’s assistant coach. Argentinian national team. The four players who made it to Tokyo are the most the Timberwolves have sent to a single Olympic game (three in 2012 and 1992).

“We are delighted that Josh, Juancho, Ricky, Leandro and Pablo represent their country and the Minnesota Timberwolves on the world’s biggest stage,” said Gersson Rosas, president of basketball operations for the Timberwolves. “They’ve all worked so hard to get to this moment and we can’t wait to cheer them on.”

Okogie will make his Olympic debut for the Nigeria squad after competing for the D’Tigers in the 2019 FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup in China. In five World Cup games, Okogie averaged 12.6 points on 42.9% shooting, 3.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals per game. The Lagos, Nigeria native concluded his third season with the Timberwolves where he played in 59 games and averaged 5.4 points on 40.2% shots, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. This will mark the third Olympics for Team Nigeria.

Hernangómez will also make his Olympic Games debut after being a member of the senior Spanish national team since 2017. He was a member of the gold medal team at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China where in eight games, he averaged 10.5 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Hernangómez finished his fifth NBA season in 2020-21, second with the Timberwolves and averaging 7.2 points on 43.5% shooting and 3.9 rebounds per game.

A mainstay of the Spanish national team, Rubio is returning to the Olympics for the third time. His first Olympic appearance was in 2008 in Beijing, where at age 17 he became the youngest player to appear in a gold medal match. Most recently at the 2019 FIBA ​​Basketball World Cup in China, Rubio was named World Cup MVP after leading Spain to gold with an average of 16.4 out of 43 points. , 6% shots, 4.6 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game.

As for our guy Bolmaro, he will see his first senior national team action for Argentina at his first Olympics in Tokyo after recently competing for the Argentina Under-19 team at the FIBA ​​World Cup. 2019 under 19 in Greece. He finished his second season with FC BarcelonaThe main team from, where he capped an outstanding season by winning the Spanish league championship and being named “Jugador Más Espectacular” of La Liga ACB – the most spectacular player in the League. Bolmaro joined a list of three current NBA players to receive the ACB Game’s Most Spectacular Player award, including Rubio, who received the honor in 2009-10. The Las Varillas, Argentina native averaged 6.4 points and 1.8 assists per game.

Prigioni will serve as an assistant coach for the Argentina national team after having had an illustrious career for the senior team, including winning a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and finishing fourth at the 2012 Olympics in London. The Río Tercero, Córdoba, Argentina native will return to Minnesota for a third season in 2021-22 after being named assistant coach of the Timberwolves in the summer of 2019, becoming the team’s offensive coordinator. He also led the club to the 2019 NBA Championship game. Las Vegas Summer League. Prigioni spent the 2018-19 season as an assistant coach with the brooklyn nets. Prior to the Nets, he enjoyed a 20-year playing career that included stoppages both abroad and in the NBA.

As for the Minnesota Lynx, they announced early last week their list of Olympic representatives, including two players (Napheesa Necklace and Sylvie fowles) and an assistant coach (Cheryl Reeve). This will be the sixth consecutive Olympics that the Lynx will have at least one player representing them (Seimone Auguste in 2008, 2012 and 2016; Maya moore in 2012 and 2016; Katie smith in 2000, 2004 and 2008; and Lindsay Whalen in 2012 and 2016).

Collier’s addition to the United States squad is very impressive as she will be the youngest player on this year’s roster (24). As for Fowles, this will be his fourth consecutive Olympics, having also won gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics (it’s still strange that they are officially using 2020 instead of 2021) will be held on July 23, 2021 from 5:55 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. CST. Having the Olympics back in our lives is good enough (especially for a big Olympic fan like me), but adding more Lynx and Wolves reps should make everything even more enjoyable.

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