BY ONI AFOLABI.
The President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida is excited at the possibility of Nigeria participating in the FIBA certified 3×3 event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic.
Kida made this known following the gold and silver medals winning feat of the senior national men and women’s teams which participated in the inaugural FIBA 3X3 Africa Cup.
In a statement released on Monday following the arrival of the teams from Lome, Togo where the men won gold and women narrowly lost to Mali in the final, Kida said that the country has potentials as displayed by the teams, which will be a force to beat at the 2020 Olympics if the right the things are put in place.
“Participation at the 2020 Olympics will be based on points garnered from now till 2020. Going forward, we will ensure that we participate in every 3×3 competitions at the international scene to have enough points before the games.”
The NBBF President described the players as gallant and patriotic Nigerians who have shown the world that Nigerian athletes can indeed rule the world if adequate support is given to the teams.
“These players have once again brought smiles to our faces and we are grateful to them. They have shown that Nigeria as a country can be the best in basketball if the right things are done to train and motivate them.”
Kida said the secret to the new found status of Nigerian basketball on the continent can be traced to invitation of players purely on merit and the improved welfare package already put in place.
“Upon our inauguration on July 21, we made a solemn promise to participate in as many international competitions as possible and expose our players through these competitions.
“In fulfilment of these promises, we have so far participated in six international competitions organized at the continental level and we will continue to participate in more in the nearest future.
It is on record that the recent FIBA 3×3 trophy is the second major title won under the new NBBF board after the D’Tigress conquered Africa to emerge the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket winners in Mali.
The board has so far led the nation out to six international tournaments and returned with two trophies and four silver medals in just four months in office.