The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has revealed that it has started compiling and would soon release the names of players to be called to camp for preparations for Nigeria’s title defence at the 2017 Afrobasket Championship to be co-hosted by Tunisia and Senegal.
Nigeria’s D’Tigers players are the defending champions of the competition, which will run September 8 to 16, 2017.
According to NBBF Vice President, Babs Ogunade, the technical committee is working round the clock to compile names of players for the pre-tournament camp, adding that the list would be released through all the official channels of the NBBF ‘‘as soon as arrangements have been finalized for the camping exercise.’’
“We are working on the men’s team. The list will not be ready for announcement on Monday, 07 August 2017 as expected.
“We will call for camping very soon and once that is done, we will officially inform you,” he added.
D’Tigers, who won the trophy in 2015, will play their group games in Tunisia and are drawn in group B of the tournament alongside Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire.
Also speaking about the Nigerian female basketball team, D’Tigress, who are already in camp preparing for the Mali 2017 Afrobasket Women Championship, Ogunade said he is excited by the quality of competition at the exercise, which enters week 3.
At the weekend players, who hitherto were camped in Orlando, Florida under D’Tigress Head Coach, Sam Vincent, were merged with their counterparts in Lagos for the second phase of the training.
“I am happy that I am seeing a lot of fire in the team. I see a lot of confidence on display and camaraderie amongst the players in the camp which for me is crucial to the overall teamwork and output,” he said.
He explained that the decision to prune the number of players from the Orlando camp was a tactical move to provide a level playing ground for the home-based players in camp.
“We have made them understand that despite the fact that the other girls are from America, it doesn’t make them more or less skillful than those ones back here in Nigeria”.
“The Florida team has been trimmed down to about seven players, while the Lagos camp still has 12 players. We extended the stay in camp for the girls at home to allow them to compete favourably with the ones that came in from Florida”.
“We are going to have a little bit of contest and I am going to enjoy seeing the girls compete for shirts. There are no sacred cows and there won’t be any under our watch. “Anybody who can contest or compete for a shirt will be allowed regardless of where you are from. Be it foreign based or home based.”