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BYU Starter Gideon George Competing For Spot On Nigeria’s Olympic Roster

Pacific Tigers guard Justin Moore (25) goes to the hoop against Brigham Young Cougars forwards Gideon George (5) and Matt Haarms (3) at the Marriott Center in Provo on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021. (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – BYU basketball starting forward Gideon George is competing with the preliminary Olympic roster for Team Nigeria.

George, who started in the final nine games of his first season at BYU, hails from Minna, Nigeria. He’s one of 49 players on Nigeria’s preliminary Olympic roster.

Nigeria has a star-studded preliminary roster that features 12 current NBA players and 19 players with NBA experience. The D’Tigers are coached by former Cavaliers and Lakers head coach Mike Brown, who is currently an assistant on the Golden State Warriors staff.

Team Nigeria has qualified for this year’s Olympics in Tokyo. They will be the only men’s basketball team from Africa at the games.

Gideon George made an impact in his first year with BYU Basketball

George was a significant contributor to many of the best wins for BYU basketball this past season. Against St. John’s in “Bubbleville” is where the JUCO transfer had his breakout performance scoring 13 points and grabbing 15 rebounds. Showing his versatility inside and out with his 6-foot-6, 190-pound frame.

Defensively, George was often tasked with defending one of the opponent’s top offensive threats. In BYU’s road win at Saint Mary’s, George locked SMC guard Tommy Kuhse in the second half, helping BYU close out the game on a 19-2 win. Giving the Cougars their first victory in Moraga since 2014.

He also had a game where he outrebounded one of BYU’s opponents by himself. George pulled down 13 rebounds to Portland’s 12 as the Cougars rolled to a blowout win over the Pilots.

Olympic basketball rosters have to be submitted by July 5th. Less than three weeks before the start of the Olympic games. Team Nigeria is currently training in San Francisco, California, to get ready for exhibition matches coming up against Team USA, Argentina, and Australia between July 10 and July 13th.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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