Former Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung has predicted that the Nigeria senior women basketball team will struggle to pick the last position in the next 2023 FIBA Afrobasket.
Dalung made this known in an exclusive interview with www.bsnsports.com.ng at the Nigeria Olympians Association Summit in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the game (basketball) was the pride of Nigeria before he left office in 2019 but has degenerated to its lowest ebb and would struggle to even take the last position at the competition.
He said, “Basketball has been our pride because in 2018, D’Tigress went to the World Cup defeated the great powerhouse of basketball nation (Argentina) to get to the quarter-final and became the first African team to play at the quarter-final of the FIBA Women’s World Cup in 100 years.
“They also improved in their rankings from number 32nd in the world to 8th. They have been African champions for three consecutive times since 2017 to 2021.”
“Now from what I am seeing, in the next Afrobasket, Nigeria’s D’Tigress may find it difficult to take the last position. The team will even struggle to take the last position from the way the game has deteriorated.
Many top players of D’Tigress have threatened not to show up when the camp for the tournament is opened, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) had to stop the tryouts in the USA following low patronage.
The federation explained that it will use the tryouts in the USA, Abuja and Lagos to select some of the players that will represent Nigeria at the championship.
Just few days ago, the federation appointed Rena Wakama as the Head Coach of D’Tigress.
Having won the FIBA Afrobasket three consecutive times, D’Tigress will be looking forward to matching Senegal’s record of winning it four times in a row.
Nigeria are in Group D with Egypt and DR Congo . The tournament will dunk off on 29th July and ends 6th August in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda