NBBF will not beg overseas-based stars to play for Nigeria, says Ogunade
• 20 home-based players compete for slots as team get Nigeria, U.S. camps
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has debunked the story that the body has been begging overseas-based players, especially the Nigerian born Americans, to play for the men and women national teams at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
NBBF Vice President, Babs Ogunade said the federation has given every Nigerian player, foreign or home-based, the chance to play for the national teams without discrimination.
He posited that the current NBBF board focused its attention more on discovering and grooming young talents from the grassroots through the Division One and Two leagues, adding that the men and women teams comprised mostly foreign-based stars because the coaches pick only the best players for the teams.
Ogunade pointed out that a well-coordinated scouting system has helped the coaches to assemble formidable squads that excelled at the World Cup and Olympics qualifiers.
“I have said it several times that the Olympics is not an interhouse sports, the best players of Nigerian descent from anywhere in the world is qualified to play for the country.
“The NBBF has not in any way neglected the domestic players. In fact, this administration has focused more on grooming young talents by getting sponsors for the division one league, which has 24 teams and the division two league, which has 14 teams.
“They compete against themselves till they get to the final eight championship, which had not happened before,” he said.
As part of the teams’ preparations for the Olympic Games, Ogunade disclosed that the NBBF was planning to camp the teams in America and Nigeria, from here they will travel to play against strong oppositions.