Huskie hoops alum Richard Oruche playing ball as Nigeria makes big Olympic debut in London

Richard Oruche
Richard Oruche

Former Northern Illinois men’s basketball player Richard Oruche will represent Nigeria in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London.

Oruche and the Nigerian team began Olympic play Sunday against Tunisia, scoring a 60-56 victory.

A native of Bensenville, Ill., Oruche was a member of the Huskie program from 2005-07. After redshirting the 2005-06 seasons, Oruche appeared in 18 games during the 2006-07 season for the Huskies. Oruche currently plays professionally in Portugal and averaged 15.4 points per game for Associacao Academica de Coimbra during the 2011-12 season.

Oruche and the Nigerian team qualified for the Olympics for the first time in the nation’s history by virtue of their third-place finish earlier this summer at the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Caracas, Venezuela.

Nigeria defeated the Dominican Republic, 88-73, on July 8 to claim the final spot in the Olympic Tournament; Oruche played eight minutes in that contest and scored two points.

Ranked No. 21 in the latest FIBA rankings, Nigeria’s roster includes a number of players with college basketball experience in addition to Oruche, including Alade Aminu (Georgia Tech), Al-Farouq Aminu (Wake Forest), Ike Diogu (Arizona State), Ekene Ibekwe (Maryland) and Tony Skinn (George Mason).

Nigeria Olympic Basketball Schedule

  • Tuesday, July 31: vs. Lithuania (8:30 a.m. CDT)
  • Thursday, Aug. 2: vs. United States (4:15 p.m. CDT)
  • Saturday, Aug. 4: vs. Argentina (4:15 p.m. CDT)
  • Monday, Aug. 6: vs. France (8:30 a.m. CDT)

For more information on NIU men’s basketball and Huskie athletics, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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