Stories by Joe Apu
Nigeria’s D’ Tigress will today open camps in Orlando, Florida, USA and in Lagos respectively ahead of the AfroBasket Women 2017 holding in Bamako, Mali from August 18-27, 2017.
A total of 29 players were released Saturday by the Nigeria Basketball Federation in a release signed by the Secretary General of the federation, Chimezie Asiegbu.
The provisional squad includes Nigeria’s latest WNBA draftee Evelyn Akhator of Dallas Wings who is expected to bring her experience to bear on the team. Aside Akhator, Nigeria has called up Turkey based Aisha Mohammed, Captain Helen Ogunjimi alongside nine others that won bronze for Nigeria in Cameroon at the AfroBasket 2015. They include Ndidi Madu, Sarah Ogoke, Patience Okpe, Nkechi Akashili, Upe Atosu, Priscillia Chioma Udeaja, Akaraiwe Nkem, Joyce Ekworomadu and Adaora Elonu.
Other players include Ezinne Kalu, Promise Amukamara, Adaeze Alaeze, Ayoleka Sodade, Cecilia Okoye, Sarah Imovbioh, Ugo Nwaigwe, Balogun Elizabeth, Uju Ugoka, Elawure Tina Odion, Ukato Igere Magdalene, Nwakama Deborah Chidinma, Ulabo Queen Roseline, Olaosebikan Tokunbo, Ume Nwamaka Gloria, Okonkwo Grace and Isaac Christiana.
The team which has former Nigeria handler, Coach Sam Vincent back in its fold will see the team open two camps in Orlando, Florida in America with 14 players while players from the domestic league as well as others currently holidaying in Nigeria totaling 15 open camp in Lagos with Coaches Peter Ahmedu of First Bank and Ochuko Okorogun of Dolphins in charge.
The foreign-based players and those of the domestic league are billed to merge into one group as the preparations for Mali continues.
Vincent led South Africa in the AfroBasket 2003 held in Alexandria, Egypt. He also coached in Senegal, Greece and Holland. He again made history with Nigeria at the 2004 Athens Olympics where he led the women to a 68–64 victory over South Korea, which became the first ever victory by an African nation in an Olympic women’s basketball match.
The American also coached the Nigerian men’s team to the 2005 Nations Cup in Algeria where they finished third and picked up a ticket to the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Tokyo. D’Tigers made it to the second round in Tokyo including a shocking upset of traditional powerhouse Serbia and Montenegro before bowing out to Germany by a point.