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COVID-19 knocks Michael Eric out of Tokyo Olympics

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Michael Eric (second right) has been ruled out of Tokyo 2020 over COVID-19 complications.

Nigeria’s basketball team to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games got a big hit yesterday when it was announced that one of the rising stars of the game, Michael Eric, has been hit by COVID-19.

In an official announcement made yesterday and published by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Eric, who recently won the European Championship with CSKA Moscow, revealed he has tested positive to COVID-19.

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“I will not be able to represent my country, Nigeria in this year’s Olympics in Japan. During the last two and half weeks, my health and physical shape went through a traumatic experience that will, unfortunately, make me miss this tournament.”

Regrettably, Eric who would have loved to be part of the game, which, he described as being his life-long dream, revealed that the period of isolation and recuperation coincides with camp and Olympic Games.

“I must do what is best for my health and my wellbeing and above all, for the team’s benefit. Regaining my strength and recovering over time so that I can come back stronger, rather than rushing to play this summer, is what’s best for me and our team.”

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The 33-year-old centre, who made his debut for Nigeria at the World Cup in China is hopeful of representing Nigeria in future.

Reacting to the development, the NBBF expressed surprise at the news and wished Eric a quick recovery.

NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida said, “Since making his debut for the team, Eric has established himself as a very important part of what we are trying to achieve as an organisation.  We will definitely miss him, but we hope to see him back soon.”

Michael Eric is the son of former Super Eagles Coach, the late Joe Erico.

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