The Nigeria Basketball Federation has thanked the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare after the D’Tigers booked a place in the 2020 Olympic Games.
Speaking immediately after their victory against China at the 2019 FIBA World Cup, the NBBF President, Musa Kida said putting up a good show would not have been possible without the fatherly roles of President Buhari and the Minister.
Kida revealed that Federal Government through the Minister called minutes before the win or burst game to encourage the team as well as brace them up for the challenge ahead.
“The Minister called before the game and he actually gave a message for the team which I conveyed to them. His called before the game which gave the boys enough motivation stepping onto the court with 200 million Nigerians behind them.”
Commending the President and the Minister, Kida said “The Honorable Minister called back after the match, spoke to them and thanked them on behalf of 200 million Nigerians and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari”
Kida specifically highlighted government’s financial backing, which made the 2019 World Cup campaign easier for the federation.
He said the gesture has shown the new policy direction of the Federal Government through the Ministry of Sports to recognize excellence.
“We are sincerely thanking them for their prompt financial intervention during the hours of our dire needs. Without the financial support, maybe it would have been impossible to talk about coming to the World Cup or qualifying for the Olympics”.
The NBBF President said that basketball has come to stay while the federation will leave no stone unturned to continue putting smiles on the faces of Nigeria.
“I am not surprised that our boys went out with the Nigerian spirit, fought very hard, played hard, defended very hard and they won. Basketball in Nigeria has come to stay and we are out to shock everybody.”