By Jacob Ajom
The Nigeria Basketball Federation has taken a bold step at making sure the national male team D’Tigers make a good impression at the forthcoming Tokyo Olympics by employing the services of the former coach of Cleveland Cavaliers, coach Mike Brown and former Associate Head Coach of the Golden State Warriors who won the 2017 NBA title, Coach Bickerstaff.
The two men and former head coach of D’Tigers, Alex Nwora who has been with the team through the 2018 Afrobasket and the FIBA World Cup in China will tinker a winning squad for Nigeria’s campaign at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
President of the NBBF Musa Kida told journalists in his office yesterday that the trio would lead the national team to what he hoped would be a remarkable Olympic Games which would lift the status of Nigeria as an elite Basketball nation in the world.
Kida said with the combined experience and expertise of the loaded technical crew and the talented squad at their disposal, Nigeria was bound to rewrite history and leave Tokyo with their heads held high.
“D’Tigers will shock the world,” he said repeatedly, recalling that D’Tigers were early qualifiers for the Tokyo Games due to their excellent performance in China which made them the best African team at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Explaining the rationale behind the employment of the high calibre technical staff for the team, Kida said, “we have always said we will try and put our best step forward, depending on the level of the challenge and how we intend to perform. We are very grateful to Alex Nwora and we deeply appreciate his professionalism.
The Olympics provides the highest level of competition and we believe the presence of Brown, Bickerstaff, and Nwora who have been with the team all through the stages, will be complementary. It will give Nigeria the cutting edge.
“His presence is going to attract good performance that will supersede all our previous efforts at the Olympics.”
Kida explained that Brown will be in Nigeria soon to carry out a first-hand selection process of home-based players. After that friendly games have been lined up for the team before the Olympics.
“We have invitations from Spain, US, China, and Australia,” the NBBF President said.