Former head coach of D’Tigress, Otis Hughley said the manner with which the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) treated the established and key players of the team led to the withdrawal of the players from participating and defending the trophy they won two years ago.
Otis Hughley who led D’Tigress to winning two Women’s FIBA Afrobasket in 2019 and 2021 said the NBBF intentionally skipped out the players because no letter requesting for the release of player was sent to the clubs of the players. He added that no serious club in Europe and America will release a player without such letter.
Otis in an exclusive interview with BSN Sports said, “The NBBF should not tell the world that the players had chance to go to camp. If they go to camp without invitation letter, they will lose their jobs and spend their personal monies to come to camp.
“These players are in contracts with their different clubs and very difficult for them to leave their clubs and come to camp without invitation.
“So, it was deliberate to skip them out. How can you exclude players who have helped Nigeria won the Women’s FIBA Afrobasket on three consecutive times? He asked rhetorically.
He also condemned the open trials the federation used in selecting the players for the championship.
“You don’t put up open trials with three weeks to the commencement of a major competition like the Women’s FIBA Afrobasket. To me, that’s not good preparation for the such international competition.
The African champions, D’Tigress will start their title defense today (Friday) against DR Congo at 10:30 am (Nigeria time) in Kigali, Rwanda.