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A pair of basketball players with University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa ties are headed to the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. Current Rainbow Warrior forward Akira Jacobs was named to Japan’s 12-member national squad, and Latvia’s 3×3 squad was announced with former UH forward Zigmars Raimo earning one of four spots.

It’s been more than 50 years since UH has had a basketball Olympian. UH All-American Tom Henderson was a member of the 1972 U.S. squad that dropped a controversial gold-medal game against the Soviet Union.

More UH Olympic athletes:
Former UH sailor Moroz to compete in Paris Olympics, July 17, 2024

4 Wahine water polo players to compete at Olympics, July 16, 2024

At 20 years old, Jacobs is the youngest member on Japan’s Olympic squad. Jacobs grew up in California, but was born in Yokohama, Japan, and moved back to his birth country in 2020. Since then he has been part of the national team program, including last year when he competed at the 2023 FIBA U19 World Cup in Hungary. Japan will open the Olympics in Group B against Germany on July 27, and will also face France (July 30) and Brazil (August 2).

Raimo is one of four players on Latvia’s 3×3 squad. The sport made its Olympic debut at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with Latvia capturing gold. Raimo helped Latvia punch its ticket to Paris and the right to defend its gold medal by winning the FIBA 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Hong Kong earlier this spring. Latvia will open pool play against Lithuania on July 30.

Former UH guard Junior Madut is currently in training camp with the South Sudan national team and could potentially be the third Rainbow Warrior to compete in this year’s Olympics.

For more, visit the UH Mānoa Athletics website.

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