Originally Posted by red1
That is nuts. Guess people don't play basketball in Nigeria. Even Hakeem didn't really start playing until a relatively late age.
Great thread future repped
Nigeria has a well funded (by African standards) domestic league but the skill level is probably low. The thing with Nigeria is that there's so many Nigerian-Americans that are good NCAA players and want to represent Nigeria that it makes it nearly impossible for domestic Nigerians to crack the team. I suspect this will only get tougher with guys like Festus Ezeli, Victor Oladipo, and Trevor Mbakwe vying for spots.
Originally Posted by andremiller07
In general from what I have seen there is a major shortage in talent from Asian countries despite the popularity of basketball being fairly big in them. The players in the Asian leagues stand zero chance against Australian/NZ club teams let alone a higher standard of Europe or NBA and they have very few prospects that ever play at the highest level (I can't even think of 1 Asian who played in the Euroleague) so it really should come as no surprise that African countries have easily overtaken them despite a complete lack of resources the athleticism, potential and natural talent is far greater in Africa.
One of the problems with Asian basketball is that despite it's immense popularity and participation, they focus too much on perimeter/guard skills for players of all positions. The players generally have good fundamentals yet their decision making and ability to play against athleticism/length is lacking.
Iran has become the new powerhouse in Asia and is the only team that looks remotely capable of competing with the good African teams or average Latin American teams. If you watch the FIBA Americas which starts in a few days, you'll see how much better countries like Venezuela, Uruguay, and Dominican Republic are than the top Asian teams. Heck, China has had a ton of trouble against some of the lowest level European teams like Iceland in recent years (only beat them by 10 a couple years ago).