Sanni makes Nigerian National Team

Another West Virginia basketballer will play internationally, this time actually facing the United States in regularly-scheduled play.

West Virginia women's basketball center Olayinka Sanni has been named one of 16 players that will compete for the Nigerian National Team in next month's World Championships in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sanni, a 6-2 native of Chicago Heights, Ill., and from Nigerian descent, tried out with 20 others for 16 team spots last week. Team training begins Monday, August 14, in Houston, and will run through Tuesday, Sept. 5. The team will then depart for Brazil, Wednesday, Sept.6 until Saturday, Sept. 23.

Sanni, a junior, will now train for the Nigerian team in Morgantown while completing Summer Session II courses at WVU.

"I'm glad to have the opportunity to play and represent Nigeria," Sanni said. "It will be a nice experience. It will be nerve racking playing against others teams and not be wearing the Mountaineer uniform. However, I'm very excited about the opportunity. I'm glad I was called upon to represent Nigeria."

WVU head women's basketball coach Mike Carey wished Sanni well, and noted that the event should help her this season.

"I'm very proud of Yinka and this is well deserved," Carey said. "She's going to have a great experience, one she will never forget for the rest of her life. I think the experience she'll gain in that type of tournament with all that talent from around the world will certainly help her be prepared to come back and lead our basketball team."

Nigeria is slated to take on the United States, Japan, Germany and China and could advance pending their play against those teams in the Championships.

Kevin Cook, an assistant coach with the WNBA's Houston Comets, will coach the team.

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