By Joe Apu
Head coach of the Nigeria men’s basketball team, Coach Alex Nwora and team captain, Ike Diogu have spoken of the team’s intention to have a good and rewarding championship in Tunisia at the AfroBasket 2017.
According to Nwora who before had coached Cape Verde told Daily Sunsport at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos where the team is training that he sees the crop of players currently in camp as very hungry and eager to showcase themselves.
“As defending champions, every team will come to the party ready to face Nigeria and despite the difficulties we’re experiencing with the availability of most of the players that won the trophy, we will go out there as Nigerians and battle it out. The players that are in camp now are ready and rearing to go and have shown great level of commitment in practices that makes me happy. Personally, I want to do my best to help my country Nigeria the best way I can.”
For Diogu who led Nigeria to her first title in the history of AfroBasket, he says he is looking forward to a successful title defence. “As it stands, we don’t have the bulk of players that were in the team in 2015. What we had going for us then was a team chemistry that was built from 2011 but manifested in 2015.
“That is not to say that the present players are not ready to give a good account of ourselves. Personally, I am looking forward to a repeat performance in Tunisia which is now a familiar terrain for us.”
The men’s national team also have the services of Coaches Adewunmi Aderemi and Abdulrahman Mohammed as assistant coaches and 22 players currently slugging it for a place in the final 12-man squad.
Nigeria is drawn in Group A against DR Congo, Mali and Cote d’ Ivoire with centre in Tunisia.