African teams can be world-beaters – Brown

D’Tigers head coach, Mike Brown is of the opinion that if the necessary elements are put in place by African basketball federations, many African teams could compete favourably with the best in the world.

Teams have commenced preparations for the third window of the qualifiers from February 19 – 21, 2021 which was announced by FIBA on Monday.

Brown, who is embarking on his first-ever assignment in Africa after being contracted by the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to handle the D’Tigers, said there gifted players in Africa, from what he has seen in the latest round of 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers.

“The game of basketball in Africa is unique from the standpoint that every team you look at possesses the athleticism necessary for the game. Physically, they are there and we have a lot of physically gifted players. When you put all together and try to bring out maximum potential from each of these African teams, it is something that everybody is striving for,” said Brown.

With many teams struggling to break into the top 30 in the global ranking – apart from Nigeria, currently ranked 23rd – Brown said once many national federations invest in quality coaches and put the right structures in place, they will improve dramatically and become a global force.

“Now, we just have to get a little bit organised, get more coaching, a little more structure and we can compete with the best around the world. Once that is done, I think basketball in Africa is going to improve tremendously,” he enthused.

Despite D’Tigers’ perfect result with wins against South Sudan, Rwanda and Mali, topping group B after three games, Brown who also doubles as Golden State Warriors assistant coach said that the results did not reflect the opposition his team faced.

The team will hope to maintain its unbeaten run on the continent when the qualifiers resume.

Story by Emeka Enyadike

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