Oshawa hoop star Oliogu looking to make an impact for Canada at U-19 America’s Championships
Published August 23, 2021 at 10:52 am
A point guard/small forward from Oshawa will be helping lead Canada in the FIBA U-16 America’s Championships, which gets underway today in Mexico.
Efeosa Oliogu, who attends the United Scholarship Academy in Toronto, has been turning heads in the GTA basketball scene for several years now and is already fielding scholarship offers from NCAA powers De Paul and Providence.
Oliogu is just 15 years old.
A recent growth spurt has seen the 6’7” star switch from point guard to small forward for the second-ranked Canadians, who open the tournament against Argentina tonight.
Matches against Mexico (August 24) and Brazil (August 25) follow before the knockout rounds get underway on Friday.
The top four teams in the tournament will automatically qualify for the FIBA U-17 World Cup next year.
Canada has medaled in every edition of the biennial tournament, dating back to its inception in 2009. The top-ranked Americans have won gold in each event, beating Canada – who is also ranked second in the world at U-16 – in the last three finals.
Head Coach Patrick Tathan said Canada is in the middle of a “golden era” for basketball.
“We’re looking to continue what we’ve been able to do with this age group, which is win while continuing to develop the players,” he said.
How much playing time the underage Oliogu receives in the tournament is to be determined but the teen is clearly a player to watch for the future. He has been described as quick and a good ball handler, “quick around the rim” and a good decision-maker.
Pro prospect writer Hair Canada was even more effusive in his praise.
“From what I’ve seen, he might be the guy with the highest ceiling and best long-term potential on this roster, possessing some real NBA upside,” the scouting report stated. “I think he can make a real impact, even though his position is quite packed with older and more experienced players. This might be a breakout tournament for him.”
Canada will be fielding a squad at the U-16 woman’s championships as well, though no Durham Region players made the cut.
Canada, ranked second in the Americas and fourth in the world, open the tournament today against Brazil.
Both tournaments are being played in Mexico.
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