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Fans Favorite: Nigeria’s Basketball Team Coach

We are days away from the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and there has not been much excited about the games due to the deplorable conditions of the Olympic venues and other health and safety concerns in the city.

Although these issues deserve the coverage it is receiving, there are some positive stories coming out of the Olympics that should receive notice. One of those stories is of a former college soccer player from Vermont who is now coaching the Nigerian men’s national basketball team.


That’s right—Will Voigt, a former soccer player from America is the head coach of an African basketball team.

Ben Cohen of The Wall Street Journal gave an in depth story of Voigt and his journey to be coming the Nigerian men’s national basketball team coach. Below is an excerpt from the piece.

Voigt’s job is part coach, part general manager. He cobbled together a coaching staff from Nigeria, Norway, and the NBA. He constructed a roster with current NBA players like Al-Farouq Aminu and Michael Gbinije and notable college players who are now scattered around the world. Then he had to figure out how they should play. Nigeria still plans to run and press, but Voigt wants the team to be more efficient in the halfcourt, too. “In the past, people would look at African teams and say they’re athletic, but they have no discipline and play wild,” said Voigt, wearing a Nigeria green polo shirt and matching G-Shock watch. “We’ve really worked hard to change that. That was our approach at AfroBasket, and that’s our approach for Rio.”

It’s an excellent article and interesting story, and you can read the rest here.


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