Stories Joe Apu
Nigeria and First Bank guard, Deborah Nwakamma is no doubt one player that coaches’ want on their team be it at the national level or at the club side. She radiates so much confidence in her game that she has remained a constant feature in First Bank’s exploits in the last four years.
Presently in her fourth year with the Elephant girls that has dominated the Nigeria women’s basketball league, Nwakamma boosts of three gold medals at the FIBA Africa Zone Three championship and only last year added a bronze in the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women in Maputo, Mozambique
Nwankamma and her mates proved too much for last year’s ACCW champions D’Agosto winning 62-54 points in the third place game.
On 27th April, 2017, Nwakamma turned 20 and unlike girls her age who would throw parties to mark the day; she took an entirely different choice to feed the needy poor of the society.
Speaking to fiba.com on her decision, Nwakamma said that she felt compassion for the needy and poor of the society and felt that it was better for her to share her day with them rather than party.
“My decision to celebrate my birthday with the needy was borne out of pity and compassion for them. Every time I am in the team bus going or coming back from practice, I notice them and often wondered how they survive in this recession in Nigeria.
“It was for that reason that I decided to make food available to them but shockingly even able bodied men joined in asking for food too. I was so touched at the end of the day that what I had didn’t go round but I was happy I did what I had to do. It gave me a sense belonging and joy in my heart that I had touched lives.
“After this, I don’t have to wait till my next birthday before I do it again. Whenever I have the means, I will go back to them,” the 5’11’’ player said.
The player who played a part in the qualifiers for Nigeria in the build-up to the Africa Games in Congo but did not make the final cut while looking at Nigeria’s chances of reclaiming the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017 crown in Mali expressed confidence that Nigeria have the potentials to emerge champions.
“Nigeria has quality players at home and abroad who can win the championship. All they need is adequate training and international friendly matches that would help the players understand themselves well enough to make the difference in Mali.
“As for me, being a part of the team will be dependent on the coaches but I will go the extra mile to ensure that I play a part in the championship.”
FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup keeping Mucauro motivated
The life of Ingvild Mucauro – Mozambique’s player of the moment – will never be the same again in a few months’ time.
In August, she will graduate from Mozambique’s University Eduardo Mondlane Medical School.
A month later, the 5ft10in (1.77m) guard will try to help her country succeed at FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2017 in Bamako, Mali.
Obviously thinking about how our national team qualified for the world cup four years ago gives us a lot of motivation as a team – Mucauro
In the space of four years, Mucauro has gone from being a fan to becoming an integral element of Mozambique women’s national team.
Four years ago, the 24-year-old was among thousands of local fans celebrating Mozambique’s qualification for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2014 despite finishing runners-up as hosts of FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2013.
By beating Cameroon in the Semi-Final of FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2013, Mozambique qualified for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2014
Now, the two-time MVP of the Mozambique women’s championship looks eager to replicate that historic moment.
And, in order to secure one of the two tickets on offer for African teams for next year’s FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Spain, Mucauro promises to do everything in her power to help Mozambique reach the final of the upcoming 12-team FIBA Women’s AfroBasket in Mali.
“It’s going to be challenging for us because everyone aims at the same goal of qualifying for the world championship,” Mucauro said to FIBA.com, adding:”But if we work hard, anything is possible. We are not going to Mali to make up numbers.”
FIBA World Cup: USA to use non-NBA players to qualify
The Americas qualifying tournament for the FIBA World Cup has a scheduling conflict with the 2017-18 NBA season. As a result, USA Basketball will not use any NBA players to form the team it will be sending to qualify for the FIBA World Cup in 2019. USA Basketball will still be able to use NBA players to compete in the World Cup itself and the Olympics.
NBA teams will not need to lose any of its players during the World Cup qualifiers. This impacts other nations as well. Even USA Basketball head coach Greg Poppovich, will not be able to lead the qualifying team due to his coaching responsibilities with the San Antonio Spurs. The qualifying team will be selected from top players playing in the NBA D-League.
Foreign players playing for NBA teams will not be allowed by their respective clubs to play for their national teams during the qualifiers. Top European teams like Spain and France, for example, will be without some key players as they will be spending the time playing in the NBA regular season.
Despite not having access to NBA players, Team USA is still considered heavy favorites to emerge as one of the seven qualifying team from the Americas qualifers.
FIBA’s mid-term congress ratifies new headgear rule
FIBA’s first-ever Mid-Term Congress, which is bringing together representatives from 139 National Federations, on Thursday ratified the FIBA Central Board’s decision for a new rule that will allow players to wear headgear.
It was developed in a way that minimises the risk of injuries as well as preserve consistency of the color of the uniform. It will come into effect as of 1 October 2017.
The provisions of the new rule mean that headgear is allowed when it is black or white, or of the same dominant color as that of the uniform; same colour for all players on the team (as all accessories) and it does not cover any part of the face entirely or partially (eyes, nose, lips etc.) stressing that it must not be dangerous to the player wearing it and/or to other players;
The new rule comes as a result of the fact that traditional dress codes in some countries – which called for the head and/or entire body being covered – were incompatible with FIBA’s previous headgear rule.
FIBA initiated a revision process of its headgear rule in September 2014, with exceptions being granted at national level as part of a two-year testing period. This past January, the Central Board received a report and, upon reviewing it, approved for the rule to be modified. It issued a mandate to its Technical Commission to come up with a proposal and this was approved by the Central Board on Wednesday.
Eunisell applauds Rivers United
Eunisell Nigeria Limited, the official front-of-shirt sponsor of high flying Rivers United has applauded the Port-Harcourt side for reaching the group stage of the 2017 Caf Confederation Cup.
In a statement signed by Eunisell Group Managing Director, Chika Ikenga, the leading global chemical and specialty fluid management company expressed satisfaction with the club’s achievements.
“Eunisell is proud to be associated with Rivers United. The fact that Rivers United is the only Nigerian club left in the Caf competitions is an indication of their dedication to duty.
“We share same dedication to duty at Eunisell.
“Rivers United now joins Africa’s elite clubs and the feat has justified our decision to sponsor the club. Moreover, EUNISELL’s presence on its jersey now makes it iconic,” Ikenga stated.
Eunisell has entered the history books as the first brand to remain front-of-shirt sponsor in the Nigeria Professional Football League for three consecutive seasons.