By Chidera Akalonu
Chairman of the Federal Capital Territory Basketball Association, Frank Jituboh is to lead Nigeria’s squad to the 3X3 tourney in honour of the Late Salamatou of Mali and a former FIBA World executive member.
Jituboh, will take charge of the men and women U-18 players in the capital city of Bamako and he says having been organizing the 3X3 for a period of time, he would bring his experience to bear on the teams.
“We have an opportunity to showcase the rich talent base of Nigeria when it comes to the game of basketball. The players are looking forward to having a good tournament even when we’re aware that Mali holds a strong team.”
Meanwhile, newly appointed coach of the national under 18 boys and girls teams, Christopher Okoh has admitted that his wards are under pressure to buckle up and perform at the upcoming 2017 FIBA Africa 3×3 championship in Mali.
Okoh said this in Lagos on Monday after their training session as they intensify preparations for the 3 day championship which holds between the 23rd and 25th of September in Bamako. He said with teeming basketball supporters in Nigeria coming to terms with the new found status of Nigeria on the African basketball scene, his team cannot afford to disappoint at the competition organised by FIBA Africa.
“I believe every team coming there (Mali) wants to get the gold and its same target for Nigeria. So, we will focus on winning the championship too.”
Okoh is optimistic that the winning mentality of the Afrobasket Women 2017 champions, D’ Tigress and silver winning D’Tigers will rub off on the teenagers under his tutelage. “As you know, we want the D’Tigress and D’Tigers victories to rub off on us and we are hoping that we get the victory also.”
The fast rising coach who has won 2 national league titles in the men and women’s league (Mark Mentors basketball and Elephant Girls of Lagos) as assistant coach to Peter Ahmedu said his appointment will give him an opportunity to showcase his talent.