By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Despite inactive domestic basketball leagues due to the lingering leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), the minister of Youth and Sports development, Sunday Dare, believed the impressive performance of the Nigeria’s men team, D’ Tigers, in the just concluded Afrobasket qualifiers in Rwanda, is an indication that there would soon be a revolution of the game in the country.
He made the declaration when NBBF factional president, Engr Musa Kida paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, yesterday.
D’Tigers squad dominated by NBA stars and other foreign based professionals concluded their first phase of the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket championship qualifiers unbeaten after an emphatic 91-68 points win against Mali in their final match.
“My position is consistent that beyond football, Nigeria has talents and competences in several other sports and our ascendancy in basketball is no longer stoppable. That ascendancy has been proven. We are Africa Champions in both male and female, we are headed to the Olympics, it has never happened before and that shows that beyond football basketball has come to stay,” Dare said.
“We are Africa Champions and we are a dominant force in the world . We are happy that our team is in the hands of good administrators and managers. Beyond the good talents that we have put together, we also need capable hands to manage them.
“These are the people that have set their eyes on a greater glory on the podium performance and am sure many other Nigerians will join the basketball revolution. At least, under me we hope to have a basketball revolution that transcends the national team.
We hope to have effective grassroots penetration of basketball youngsters to start a project that would have a Basketball Court in at least one Senatorial district in the country. This is a commitment that has been shared by the NBBF and the Federal Ministry of Sports.”
Speaking earlier, Kida said Nigerian ascendance was made possible by good planning, commitment of the players and engagement of one of the best coaches in the NBA.
D’Tigers’ defeated South Sudan, Rwanda and Mali to top Group B of the Afro Basketball qualifier series hosted in Kigali, Rwanda.
Nigerian basketball has been engulfed in a leadership crisis since 2017 following two elections held in Kano on June 12 and in Abuja on June 13, 2017. Ahmadu-Kida emerged as president of the Abuja poll, while Tijjani Umar was declared the winner of the Kano election. Both were annulled by the world governing body, FIBA.
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