Nneka Ogwumike, Elizabeth Williams’ appeals denied

Sparks forward and WNBPA president Nneka Ogwumike (Douglas P. DeFelice / Getty Images)

Nneka Ogwumike and Elizabeth Williams will not be going to Tokyo. 

The two basketball player’s appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport were rejected Monday, maintaining FIBA’s initial ruling. Due to both players’ previous participation in USA Basketball, they were subsequently denied their petition to play for Nigeria in the Olympics even with USA Basketball’s approval. 

“FIBA acknowledges today’s decision of the Court Arbitration of Sport (CAS) to reject the request for provisional measures,” the basketball organization posted on its website.

Additionally, according to FIBA, the pair were not on Nigeria’s roster submitted for the Tokyo Games. 

They had appealed under the motion that their involvement would help grow the game of basketball in Nigeria, something which is within the best interests of FIBA.

“Allow them the opportunity to help grow the game,” Nigerian coach Otis Hughley Jr. said on Sunday. “That continent would just be turned on its head for basketball, in a good way. You have no idea how many lives would be impacted and changed for the ages.”

Ogwumike’s sister, Chiney, had also appealed to have her status changed from a naturalized player to Nigerian. That appeal was also denied by the CAS.