On Monday evening, The Technical Crew of the Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers released the list of 12 players invited for the final phase of camping ahead of the 2021 FIBA Afro Basket qualifiers in Tunisia.
the statement issued by the Nigeria Basket Ball Federation (NBBF) showed that six France-based players are in the roster which includes two-time Olympian, Ike Diogu, and Ike Iroegbu who emerged as one of the top performers during the last qualifying series held in Rwanda in 2020, Ike Iroegbu averaged 15.7 points as Nigeria dominated group B.
The trio of Ifeoluwa Joshua Ajayi (Hermine Nantes), Said Hearst-Okpalannaka (Antibes), and Nwachukwu Moneke, all based in France, are the names on the call-up roster and all will be seeking to make their debuts in Monastir.
Ben Uzoh, Michael Oguine and Ike Nwamu (Cholet, a member of the 2017 Afro Basket silver winning team), are also based in France. With Nigeria sitting comfortably atop group B after beating Rwanda, Mali and South Sudan, all eyes will be focused on the reverse fixtures which will be hosted in Tunisia.
The Nigerians are expected to confirm their superiority, especially with the inclusion of the France-based players in the set-up. Another motivation for the new players is to try and get in the coaches’ mind as they prepare for the Olympics.
Apart from the six players from France, Turkey-based power forward, Abdul-Malik Abu, and Michael Oguine will also team up with the team that also includes Michael Gbinije and Caleb Agada. The team will be handled by Mfon Udofia who will stand in for Mike Brown.
According to the NBBF, some players have also been put on notice pending the conclusion and outcome of player registration by the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA).