Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jasikevicius and Ibekwe Will Play in the Olympics

Two former Terps will be playing basketball in the Olympics in London starting in two weeks.

Sarunas Jasikevicius (1994-98) will be playing for Lithuania once again. His performance against the USA in the 2004 Olympics in Greece earned him a two-year stint in the NBA with Indiana and Golden State in 2005-2007. In 2008, his status as one of Lithuania's most internationally famous athletes (remember, he's a huge star in Europe) led to him serving as Lithuania's flag bearer in the opening ceremonies at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Also, watch for Ekene Ibekwe (2003-07) playing for Nigeria. Nigeria had a tough road to qualify for the Olympics, losing to Venezuela and Greivis Vasquez in the opening round-robin game of the final qualifying tournament. But they clawed their way back to advance, then upset Greece in the quarterfinals, lost to Russia in the semifinals, and finally eliminated the Dominican Republic in the third-place game of the tournament to earn the final spot in the Olympics draw, and Nigerian basketball's first ever berth in the Olympics.

Both Nigeria and Lithuania play in Group A with the USA. The opening basketball games of the Olympics tip off on July 29, with Nigeria vs. Tunisia and Lithuania vs. Argentina (rounding out Group A, USA plays France on the opening day).

Also in the Olympics, the USA Field Hockey team features former Terps Katie O'Donnell ('11) and Keli Smith-Puzo ('01). If you know of any other Terps competing in other events in London, post it in the comments!

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