The assistant coach of D’Tigers Basketball team, Aderemi Adewunmi, has revealed that some foreign professionals would be invited to join their counterparts as camping intensifies for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
The Kogi state born coach, who made this known in Lagos on Monday after the team’s morning training session, said the move became necessary to create the right tactical balance for the team ahead of the competition.
“Some foreign-based players will be invited to camp, but I think the bulk of the team players will be home-based,” Adewunmi said.
He praised the players currently in camp for putting up the right attitude and winning mentality in training which he said will brighten their chances of representing Nigeria.
“Some of the boys in the camp were called to camp during the preparation for the 2017 Afrobasket while others went with the team to Tunisia. So, the experience they have gathered so far will be invaluable.”
With Nigeria grouped alongside hosts Australia, New Zealand and Canada, the former assistant coach of the senior women’s national team is optimistic that with the right mentality and training, the team can spring up some surprises.
“They (New Zealand, Canada and Australia) are very good teams and Nigeria will definitely have very tough match-ups against these teams, but when we get there we will just play our game because basketball is a global language.
“The way they play in Australia is the same way they play in New Zealand, Canada and Nigeria, but how we play each team will determine who wins.
“It’s a good thing for our league because it has shown that the NBBF can depend on them. We have strong and experienced players in the league.
“Playing at the Commonwealth Games level will be very good for our league because it will afford them a platform to market the league to the world,” he said.
He heaped encomiums on the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports headed by Barrister Solomon Dalung for providing a conducive environment for the team as they intensify preparation for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Making mention of training, feeding, transportation and accommodation arrangements which he described as top notch, he said the early camping exercise will boost Nigeria’s chances.
By Oni Afolabi, LAGOS SWAN