NBBF to screen over 100 players for 2021 Tokyo Olympics
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has disclosed that over 100 players, mostly foreign-based Nigerian stars, have been shortlisted to commence various stages of screening ahead of the 2021 Japan Olympic Games.
NBBF Vice President, Babs Ogunade, said the players, comprising men and women stars, would be monitored and selected by D’Tigers and D’Tigres coaches through different warm-up ties lined up for the teams as the build-up to the Olympics.
He added that the basketball federation would always ensure the teams excel at the games, adding, “NBBF is delighted that Nigeria’s men and women basketball teams will play at the Olympics.
“We have shortlisted over 100 players from the NBA and other leagues in Europe to play for the Olympics teams in Japan. The D’Tigers coaching crew, led by Mike Brown, is in high spirit as most Nigerian born players in the NBA now want to represent the country in international engagements.
“The NBBF is not shutting doors on domestic players also as a camp will be opened for them to participate in the screening for the Olympics.
“You should realise that the Olympics is not an inter-house sport, so the best players of Nigerian descent anywhere in the world are welcomed to the national team.”
Ogunade recalled that in the process of qualifying for the Olympics, 45 players featured in different stages, including at the World Cup.
“So, the process of getting the best players for the men and women teams would not pose any problem for the coaches for the Olympics,” he said.
Ogunade added, “We are also considering American players, who though do not have any heritage in Nigeria, but are interested in playing for us. It is allowed in the Basketball rules.
“So, if the coaches decide to use any of the foreigners interested to play for Nigeria, it is left for them.
D’Tigers coach, Mike Brown, would have been around to assist in some coaching programmes for domestic players, but the COVID-19 Pandemic affected the move. The NBBF will soon begin preparations for the Japan Olympics.”