The camp of the Nigeria’s senior male national basketball team, D’Tigers is now in full swing as all the players invited for the forthcoming 2015 Afrobasketball tournament in Tunisia have arrived to step-up preparations for the very comepetitive tourney.
The Aminu brothers (Al Faruoq and Alade), Ikechukwu Ofoegbu and Olaseni Lawal were the last to join their teammates in the training camp after featuring for their respective NBA clubs.
President of Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), Tijjani Umar, who confirmed this, said already the team has intensified training after dazzling in an invitational tournament in France last week.
He said the players and technical officials are perfecting their strategy quietly. “We are not making any noise about D’ Tigers because they are preparing naturally. This is probably one of the best coaching crew I have worked with. Less noise, less friction in camp. Players just came in to come play.
“Quietly, the team has played three games, won two and lost one by just a point in France with just seven people only. What we are out for is to achieve success. The only thing we can call success is to win the Afrobasket tournament. That is why we are spending much.”
Besides the Aminu brothers, Ikechukwu Ofoegbu and Olaseni Lawal, others who are on hand to lead the team to the long elusive trophy are Ike Diogu, Benjamin Uzoh, Stanley Okoye, Andy Ogide, Jamal Olasewere, Stanley Gumut and Olumide Oyedeji.
Also making a return is Chamberlain Oguchi and Derrick Obasohan who were part of the London 2012 Olympics, as well as home-based stars Abubakar Usman and Yahaya Abdul.
Deji Akindele, Micheal Umeh, Eric Oluwaseun, Obekpa Chris, Ofoegbu Ikechukwu, Edo Karachi, Akinlolu Akingbala, Ebie Jason, Elonu Chinemelu, Gbinije Micheal, Olaseni Lawal and Talib Zanna are some of those who will be fully blooded by the time the tourney gets underway.
Under the tutelage of new coach William Voigt, D’Tigers will be hoping to put off the tag of ‘nearly men’ and set out to rule Africa for the first time in Tunisia between August 19 and 30.