Tennessee Forward Impresses in International Play

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    Photo Credit: Knoxville News Sentinel

    Tennessee basketball forward Oliver Nkamhoua turned in a strong performance in Finland’s 74-64 loss to Belgium Wednesday.

    Nkamhoua scored six points and grabbed four rebounds in Finland’s National Team’s 1,000th ever game. The 6-foot-8 junior finished fifth on Finland in points and third in rebounds.

    The power forward is in a critical offseason. After recording 2.3 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.2 minutes a game as a sophomore, Rick Barnes and the Vols are hoping Nkamhoua can make the jump to a reliable bench contributor.

    Nkamhoua gave Tennessee flashes of reliable play off the bench last season. The sophomore played double digit minutes in back-to-back games against Mississippi State and Kansas— where he combined for nine points and six rebounds— and again against South Carolina and Kentucky.

    Still, Nkamhoua wasn’t able to do enough to separate himself from E.J. Anosike and Uros Plavsic to earn consistent playing time.

    The Finland native isn’t the only Vol playing internationally this summer. Santiago Vescovi impressed in Olympic qualifying for Uruguay and Kennedy Chandler has been a star for Team USA in the U19 FIBA Basketball World Cup tournament.

    Finland will return to action on July 9 against Hungary. Nkamhoua will return to Knoxville after Finland’s final International game on July 11.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.