Associate Coach of Golden State Warriors Mike Brown has been announced as the coach for the Nigerian male basketball team ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Brown will replace Alex Nwora who led the D’Tigers to a second-place finish at the 2017 Afrobasket tournament.
The move to hire Brown comes as easily the highest-profile coaching decision the D’Tigers have ever made considering his place as the assistant coach for the Warriors since 2016. A span in which they have been to the finals every year and Brown has acted in the capacity of head coach at times where Steve Kerr has been unable to as a result of chronic back pain.
“I’m honored and humbled that Musa Kida and the Nigerian Basketball Federation have given me this opportunity,” Brown said. “The Nigerian Basketball Federation has been very professional and organized throughout the vetting process. They want to continue to build a world-class team and organization on and off the court. I’m excited to have learned that the Federation’s vision is to provide the team with the necessary resources to compete at the highest level. Their commitment will enable the players and coaches to focus our energy on competing at the highest possible level every time we step on the basketball court. We want to make all of Nigeria proud.”
This year will mark the third consecutive stint at the Olympics for the Nigerian national team following showings in 2012 and 2016. With rotation NBA players like Josh Okogie and Al-Farouq Aminu as well as Gabe Vincent and Chimezie Metu in addition to ex-NBA players Ben Uzoh and Ekpe Udoh and potential second-round pick Louisville guard Jordan Nwora, Brown will have what on paper looks like the best Nigerian team in recent future and it will be interesting to see how they do in Tokyo with quality coaching.