Tennessee basketball’s junior power forward Olivier Nkamhoua is set to play for the Finland National team this summer in a trio of preparatory games in Japan.
Finland did not qualify for the Olympics but Nkamhoua will compete with his home country in games on July 7, 9, and 11 against Belgium, Hungary, and Japan.
Nkamhoua isn’t the only Vol competing internationally this summer as junior guard Santiago Vescovi played a pair of Olympic qualifying games for Uruguay averaging 10.8 points per game on 60% shooting from beyond the arc.
Incoming freshman Kennedy Chandler has been great for the United States under 19 team in the FIBA World Cup. Chandler recorded five points, five rebounds, and five assists while posting a team-best +24 plus-minus in a win over Turkey. Against Mali, Chandler scored 11 points on four-of-five shooting.
It’s a big offseason for Nkamhoua who is looking to help Tennessee replace Yves Pons production from the last two seasons. Last season as a sophomore, Nkamhoua averaged 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.2 minutes per game.
Nkamhoua isn’t Rick Barnes’ only plan to replace Pons as the Vols’ signed blue-chip recruits Jonas Aidoo and Brandon Huntley-Hatfield. Still, Nkamhoua taking a step into a reliable contributor in his junior season would go a long way towards Tennessee’s chances to compete for an SEC Title.
Nkamhoua will return to Knoxville to rejoin his teammates after Finland’s July 11 game.