Former MBB Huskies Giffey and Edwards head to the Olympics
UConn Athletic Communications / July 5, 2021
UConn men’s basketball alumni Niels Giffey and Gavin Edwards will compete in the Tokyo Olympics later this month with the national teams of Germany and Japan, respectively.
Giffey and Edwards are the third and fourth former UConn men’s basketball players to become Olympians, joining Ray Allen, who won a gold medal with Team USA in 2000 in Sydney, Australia, and Emeka Okafor, who won a bronze medal with Team USA in 2004 in Athens, Greece.
Edwards and Giffey were never UConn teammates, but together they span eight straight years of basketball at UConn, from 2006 to 2014, which included two NCAA championships and three appearances in the Final Four.
Edwards, a 6-9 physical striker, secured the only place as a “naturalized” player in the Japanese squad, which automatically received a place as the host team. Edwards has spent the last eight seasons playing professionally in Japan, the last four with B League champion Chiba Jets. In the 2020-21 season. Edwards averaged 12.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and had a field goal percentage of 62.3%.
Edwards played at UConn from 2006 to 2010, helping the Huskies reach the Final Four in 2009. The Gilbert, Ariz. Native played 123 games for UConn, with career totals of 631 points and 420 rebounds.
Giffey has played with Alba Berlin since the 2014-15 season, helping the team win the German Cup in 2020, as well as with the German national team. In 2020-21, he averaged 8.0 points and 2.8 rebounds. Last month, he signed a new contract with Zalgiris Kaunas of the Lithuanian Basketball League and Euroleague.
Giffey, from Berlin, is one of three UConn men’s basketball players (also Shabazz Napier, Tyler Olander) to have won two NCAA Championships (2011, 2014). The 6-5 forward, who ranks third all-time in UConn games played (139), has a career total of 640 points and 354 rebounds, and ranks behind only Ray Allen and Ben Gordon in the field goal of all time at three points. percentage (42.1 percent).
The Olympic basketball tournament consists of 12 teams divided into three groups and will take place from July 25 to August 7 with all matches taking place in Saitama, Japan.
Giffey’s German side, making their first Olympic appearance since 2008, are in Group B with Australia, Nigeria and Italy and will start the game against Italy on July 25.
Edwards’ Japanese team, at the Olympics for the first time since 1976, are in Group C with Argentina, Spain and Slovenia. Japan will start the competition against Spain on July 26.