Warriors

Mannion goes off, leads Italy to first Olympic berth since 2004

Warriors
Nico Mannion

It had been 17 years since an Italian men's basketball team qualified for the Olympics, but Nico Mannion made sure things would be different this time around.

The Warriors guard poured in 24 points on 7-for-17 shooting to lead Italy to a 102-95 win over Serbia to book their tickets to Tokyo.

During the Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Mannion averaged 17.7 points and 4.0 assists per game while shooting 48.4 percent from the field and 45.5 percent from the 3-point line.

The Arizona product had a tough rookie season, but once again showed the shotmaking and playmaking ability that had the Warriors excited to pick him in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft.

While Mannion has a lot of potential, he will need to show a lot of improvement in order to secure a roster spot next season.

In 30 games this past season for the Warriors, Mannion averaged 4.1 points per game while shooting 34.2 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from the 3-point line. During his time in the G League bubble with the Santa Cruz Warriors, Mannion averaged 19.3 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent from the field.

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Mannion will be one of four Warriors to take part in the Tokyo Olympics. Steve Kerr and Draymond Green will be part of the Team USA contingent while Mike Brown will coach Team Nigeria.

Despite a valiant effort from Andrew Wiggins, Team Canada fell to the Czech Republic in overtime on Saturday night in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament as Tomas Satoransky hit a turnaround jumper over Lugentz Dort with 1.8 seconds remaining to eliminate Canada.

 

Mannion and Italy will be part of Group B with Australia, Nigeria and Germany. Team USA will be in Group A with Iran, France and the winner of Greece and the Czech Republic.

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