|BY DUMNODI OKONTA.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) just inaugurated by the Nigerian sports minister has swung into immediate action.
The NBBF Technical Committee announced the appointment of Vincent James Samuel as the new Head Coach of the women senior national team replacing Scott Nnaji ahead of the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Tournament.
This was made known at the weekend following the release of 29 players invited to camp in Nigeria and United States of America ahead of the apex women’s championship in Africa holding in Mali.
Vincent who led the team to a 68-64 victory at the 2004 Olympics over South Korea (the first ever victory by an African nation in an Olympic women’s basketball contest) was handed the task of winning Nigeria’s first ever Afrobasket trophy.
Meanwhile, the team made up of 17 foreign based and 12 home based players were expected to report to camp this week Monday.
According to the release signed by the Secretary of the NBBF, Chimezie Asiegbu the foreign based players will converge on Orlando, Florida while the home based alongside some of their foreign based counterparts such as Sarah Ogoke, Uju Ugoka and Adaora Elonu holidaying in Nigeria will converge on Lagos.
Meanwhile, the Orlando camp will be led by D’Tigress captain, Helen Ogunjimi alongside Ezinne Kalu, Promise Amukamara, Adaeze Alaeze, Ayoleka Sodade, Ndidi Madu, Cecilia Okoye, Aisha Mohammed, Patience Okpe, Sarah Imovbioh, Ugo Nwaigwe, Balogun Elizabeth, Joyce Ekworomadu and Evelyn Akhator.
In Lagos, the 11 players will sweat it out under the watchful eyes of Peter Ahmedu and Okworogu Ochuko who were also newly named as part of the new technical crew.
National team regulars, Chioma Udeaja (First Bank), Nkechi Akashili (First Bank), Upe Atosu (First Bank) will have a tough battle in their hands with Akaraiwe Nkem (First Bank), Elawure Tina Odion – First Bank, Ukato Igere Magdalene – First Bank, Nwamaka Deborah Chidinma – First Bank, Ulabo Queen Roseline – Dolphins, Olaosebikan Tokunbo – Dolphins, Ume Nwamaka Gloria – Plateau Rocks, Okonkwo Grace – IGP Queens and Isaac Christiana – IGP Queens all battle ready to book a ticket on the team to the tournament starting on the 18th of August in Bamako.