The Nigeria Basketball Federation has announced that the national basketball team’s final camp for the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers will commence on November 23, 2020 – just four days before the start of the event.
Making this known in Abuja, the NBBF Secretary General, Afolabi-Oluwayemi Olabisi said players are expected to fly into Kigali in time to join the camp.
On the duration of the final camping exercise, the NBBF President, Engr Ahmadu Musa Kida revealed that the federation would have liked to have hosted a longer final training camp for the qualifiers, but due to logistical and financial considerations, the camp will have to open four days before the team’s first game.
“(A) longer camping period would have been the best option for the team. It would have enabled the boys to have enough time to blend under Coach Mike Brown.
“Some of the players are preparing for the new season with their clubs while some are actively involved in the Euro League, so we cannot snatch them away for long.”
The NBBF President also explained that the financial implication on the federation also discouraged any attempt to embark on an extended final camping exercise.
“We have to be honest with ourselves as a federation. Funding is a key determinant for most of our plans and programs. According to the popular saying, cut your coat according to your size, but for us at the federation, it is cutting our cost according to our cloth. Maybe in future, when our financial fortunes improve, we can camp players for as long as necessary”.
Players were invited after a series of “mini” scouting sessions by the technical crew, with 12 expected to make the final list. It is expected that the D’Tigers will have a straightforward qualification run. The team is grouped alongside hosts Rwanda and Mali. The four group team, Algeria, recently withdrew from the qualifiers taking place between 27th to 29th of November in Kigali.