Chris Acha, head coach of the national 3×3 basketball teams, on Friday said his teams would fully utilise
Nigeria’s recent successes in basketball to excel.
Acha told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that they were going to use the successes as a springboard for their own success at their FIBA Africa Nations Cup.
“Nigeria is a force to reckon with on the continent as far as basketball is concerned, definitely. Every time we go for a continental championship, our mission is always to be at the top.
“The recent successes of the national basketball teams have also served as an extra motivation for us,” he said at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium training camp of the teams.’’
NAN reports that Nigeria’s women team recently won the FIBA Africa trophy and the men’s team booked Africa’s sole automatic ticket for the 2020 Olympics via the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
“This means that he Golden Era of Nigerian basketball is already upon us and my teams will make it even more exciting in Uganda.
“Nigeria is in the Golden Era of basketball presently and the 3×3 national teams know the task that is ahead; which is to win the championships in Uganda,” Acha said.
NAN reports that 12 players —- six male and six female —- were invited to camp by the coach ahead of the continental showpiece billed for Kampala from Nov. 7 to Nov. 11.
Kano Pillars duo of Okoh Lucky and Godwin David were invited alongside Ibe Agu and Anyaoha Wisdom of Gombe Bulls.
Victor Antony (Rivers Hoopers) and Ndibe Emmanuel complete the list of invited players for the 3×3 men’s national team.
In the women’s team, First Bank’s Okoro Ifunanya earned another call-up after a bright showing at the just-concluded Africa Games.
Kelani Sumbo (also of First Bank) and Umeh Gloria (Plateau Rocks) were also invited.
Others are: Agbotan Success (Delta Force), Okah Chinwe Hope (Air Warriors Babes) and Theresa Mac-Dangosu (Abuja).
Acha further told NAN that he was optimistic Nigeria would surpass the third-place finish they earned at the 2018 edition of the tournament, judging by the calibre of players at his disposal.
“Actually, I personally did the recruitment of the players. I travelled to Akure, from there to Ibadan and then Zaria to assess and recruit the players myself.
“So, I can confidently say we have assembled the best players available to make Nigeria proud,” he said.
The coach commended the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) for making sure that logistics at the Abuja camp was top-notch.
“The mood in the camp is very good. The players are cooperating with the coaches and camp officials and the spirit is high too.
“So far, everything is going on very well. The coordinator in charge has been providing us with everything we need to succeed both as players and coaches,” he said.(NAN)