‘Tokyo 2020 teams still open to eligible Nigerians’
Ministry of health to determine basketball league fixtures
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has revealed that the doors of the senior men and women national teams, which are billed to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, are still open to eligible Nigerians irrespective of where they are based.
NBBF Vice President, Babs Ogunade told The Guardian on Tuesday that the body was working closely with the teams’ coaches to raise formidable squads for the championship, adding that the body was striving to ensure the teams are among the best in the world.
One of the strategies adopted to strengthen the teams, according to Ogunade, is ensuring the teams get quality preparations ahead of the Olympics.
“Several camps will be opened in different venues for coaches to select the best Nigerian basketball players based within and outside the country for the Olympics.
“I don’t understand why some people are complaining that we are not sticking with the players that qualified the teams for the Olympics to ensure continuity in the team.
“I will like to inform you that over 45 players were used at different championships to qualify Nigeria for the Olympics.
“Now, the NBFF is not holding back on inviting more skillful players to join the fold. The target is to ensure the coaches work hard to select the very best players of Nigerian descent based anywhere in the world to represent the country at the Olympics”.
“Nigeria has to prove a point in Japan and raising formidable squads for the male and female teams would ensure the country comes out successful at the Olympics,” he said.
Ogunade also revealed that the NBBF was waiting for the Ministry of Health to lift the COVID-19 restrictions on sports activities before drawing a time table for the national leagues, adding, “The NBBF cannot make any pronouncement on the possibility of the Zenith Women Basketball League and other basketball activities holding this year.”