Nigeria Rumors

Many of Voigt’s players paid for their own flights (and most flew coach) and accommodations. Playing for Team Nigeria is a complete commitment, and Voigt, who is no longer under contract, is hoping that the country will invest more money into the basketball program. “It’s pretty well known we didn’t receive any support. We did this on our own,” Voigt said. “We’ve faced hardships as a team that other teams in our group couldn’t even fathom. The fact that they can get here and be as competitive as they were, I think it speaks volumes to them. “Just something as simple as having food for our players and having a flight to where they’re going and having insurance for our top players may be a huge swing in terms of what we do. I’m just trying to catch my breath, to be honest. We understand that’s not necessarily where the country is right now, but even the smallest level of support can reap huge rewards for what we can do.”
“He got hurt in our camp, but the only issue he has had down there (in Rio) is he got sick and he missed their second game,” Van Gundy said today. “He has come back and played in Games 3 and 4. He has played well. His numbers have been good in Games 3 and 4. He has one more today. They cannot move on, so today (Brazil) will be his last one. Overall, I think it has been good experience for him. “He has been playing off the ball at the two (shooting guard) and three (small forward). He hasn’t really played any point (guard). He has handled the ball some, but generally he’s out there with another guard.”
Storyline: Olympic Games
But those are a just a few interesting details among many of Will Voigt’s global journey from rural Vermont to the Rio Olympics. The son of a Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry and MacArthur genius (his mom Ellen) and founder of a culinary school (his dad Fran), Voigt has coached in Norway, Denver, Austin, Texas, Bakersfield, Calif., China, Nigeria and Barre, Vt., the one-time home of the minor-league Vermont Frost Heaves. “I’ve been fortunate to have had these opportunities,” Voigt said. “I didn’t set out with a blueprint of how do I get to China? How do I get to Norway? How do I get to Nigeria? It just presented itself. I certainly wasn’t afraid of going somewhere different. The way it’s played out, I don’t think I could have ever predicted.”
Storyline: Olympic Games
The Spanish players noticed the empty crowd while warming up, but weren’t aware what caused it. Inspectors had determined the game could start as scheduled and allowed media and volunteers — who weren’t informed of the situation — to remain in the building while the ticket holders were kept outside. Nigeria coach William Voigt had been briefed, but said it wasn’t the reason for his team’s slow start. “I decided not to really say anything to anyone else,” he said. “I didn’t want it to be a distraction, but I knew and certainly when whatever was detonated went off I think it was something everybody noticed.”
Storyline: Olympic Games
Sometimes even Will Voigt himself can scarcely believe he’s coaching on an Olympic stage in the same tournament as Mike Krzyzewski. Voigt is the head coach of the Nigerian national basketball team, an improbable but hard-earned job for a basketball nomad who has refused to allow a modest playing career to derail his coaching ambitions. “I don’t think I could have ever predicted this,” Voigt said. “It’s hard not to realize the significance when you walk into the Opening Ceremony. I think I’ll have time to reflect on it when we get out of here and I’m not in work mode, but there’s no way I could have seen this coming.”
Storyline: Olympic Games
Voigt’s big break came in 1999 when the San Antonio Spurs offered him a job as a video coordinator. It’s not the sort of job a 23-year-old with so little basketball experience typically lands, but the Spurs have never been afraid to take a chance on someone from a non-traditional background. Plus, Weltman vouched for Voigt to Spurs general manager R.C. Buford and Pomona alums Gregg Popovich and Mike Budenholzer also received rave reviews from folks at their alma mater. “He was young and he was cheap,” Buford joked. “When he was with us, he had a really good relationship with our players. He was able to connect with people. He wasn’t afraid to take a different path and he was very ambitious.”