ABUJA (2016 Rio Olympics) - Nigeria will make their second appearance in row at the Olympics and Al-Farouq Aminu, one of the team’s key players, can’t wait to be in Rio de Janeiro where the event will take place next year.
Four years ago, the Western Africans made history after qualifying for the London Games thanks to a successful 2012 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT) campaign in Caracas, Venezuela.
It was one of the highest achievements in Nigeria's basketball history.
Now, it's all about the Rio Games.
"The Olympic Games are something special. It is better to experience it rather than have it tell," he told FIBA.com
Last August, Nigeria won their first-ever continental title after beating Angola in the final of AfroBasket 2015 in Rades, Tunisia.
As result the "D'Tigers" punched an automatic qualification for next year’s Olympics.
Aminu, one of Africa's well known NBA players, had a pivotal role for his country averaging 12 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Angola, Tunisia and Senegal who finished second, third and fourth respectively, kept their Olympic aspirations alive as they will compete in one of the three 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (OQTs).
Aminu who plays for the Portland Trail Blazers believes that "the prospect of featuring in the Olympics will probably be the greatest source of motivation for these teams."
Although Nigeria succeeded in the OQT four years ago, Aminu recognises that the tournament is not an easy one.
"That is why we tried all our best to punch a straight qualification," he said.
The OQT will run from 4 to 10 July.
Eighteen countries will compete in three groups of six teams each; the winner of each tournament will book a ticket for the Rio de Janeiro Games.