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  • Nigeria national team

    I think this article partially explains why the Nigerians have been absent from many of the major preparation tournaments.

    From the Nigerian Tribune:

    NBBF waits on Ministry for funds - Ahead FIBA World Championship
    Niyi Alebiosu, Lagos - 02.08.2006

    AS the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) prepares for the forthcoming FIBA World Basketball Championship, slated for Japan between August 19 and September 3, the Federal Ministry of Sports and Social Development is yet to release funds to the federation.

    Tribunesports scooped that the ministry is the federation of funds needed for training and the championship proper less than three weeks to the commencement of the championship.

    Tribunesports also reliably gathered that the federation was only able to raise 15,000 dollars for the team currently in camp in Dallars, United States of America.

    The money could only cover the players’ allowances and accommodation for a few weeks leaving the players and officials stranded afterward.

    Confirming the story to Tribunesports on Sunday evening during the Final Four of the Vmobile Premier Basketball League which was won by Plateau Peaks, NBBF’s Dr. Adamu Ahmed, described the situation as pathetic, saying, “NBBF needs funds to execute the championship but as at now we are yet to receive a dime from the government, knowing that it is a major championship that needs serious attention, but we are toying wit it.”

    Ahmed, though did not dislose the actual amount requested from the ministry but maintained that the federation needed huge amount of money to execute the programme as the 15,000 dollars raised could not go anywhere.

    Meanwhile, NBBF president, Buba Gyang, also speaking on Sunday, raised hope when he disclosed that he had a discussion with the ministry on the funds needed and that the response was positive.

    “On the championship in Japan, I had discussion with the Sports Ministry and want to assure you that it was positive and I hope that NBBF will hear from them soon,” Gyang, the Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs said.

  • #2
    they are currently in the finals in South africa for the juniors. theyjust beat congo so hopefully they can get over these problems at the senior level


    • #3
      I'm a little concerned about the seniors preparation for the WC. Several weeks ago, I emailed one of the Nigerian players (Ikuesan Olusegun) and asked him about the status of the team and he said they were preparing well. They played a few games in Dallas (USA) against a NBA summer team and some AAU teams. I would have liked to see them play in more pre-WC tournaments. I think the experience against a Spain or a Lithuania would have helped them prepare better for Japan. I wish them luck.


      • #4
        thanks. i agree they need more experience, but more importanly they need better recruitment. there are many nigerians that could play for nigeria but simply dont come on board.

        i'd love to get a chance to see them play someday. maybe in new york


        • #5
          Hakeem Olajuwon Prepares Nigerian National Team

          From the New York Times: Link to Article

          Long Arms Groom Nigeria’s Long Shot By THAYER EVANS
          HOUSTON, Aug. 13 — Playing for the Nigerian junior national team in the All-African Games in 1979, Hakeem Olajuwon demonstrated so much potential that an opposing basketball coach recommended he attend college in the United States.

          Less than a year later, Olajuwon, a skinny 7-foot teenager, landed a scholarship at the University of Houston.

          Olajuwon led the Cougars to consecutive N.C.A.A. championship games before the Houston Rockets selected him as the first pick of the 1984 N.B.A. draft.

          He retired 18 years later with two titles, a Most Valuable Player award and two defensive player of the year awards. He is seventh on the N.B.A.’s career scoring list and the top shot blocker in league history.

          Olajuwon became a naturalized American citizen in 1993 and won a gold medal with the United States at the 1996 Olympics, but his loyalty to Nigeria is the reason its national men’s basketball team was in Houston this week.

          “That’s how I got discovered,” said Olajuwon, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

          At his invitation, the 12-player squad arrived Thursday night to train with him at Memorial Hermann-Houston Baptist University Wellness Center before departing Monday for Japan to participate in the 24-team world championship beginning Saturday. The team had been training in the Dallas area and in Las Vegas.

          “It’s just incredible — his sincerity to somehow get involved and be a part of what we’re doing,” said Sam Vincent, the former N.B.A. player who is coaching the Nigerian team.

          The Nigerian men’s basketball team has never appeared in the Olympics, though it could secure a spot in the Beijing Games in 2008 with an unlikely championship in Japan.

          The team qualified for the world championship by taking bronze at the FIBA Africa Championship in Algeria last year.

          To be eligible for the team, a player must be born in Nigeria or carry a Nigerian passport through his parents, Vincent said.

          One of Nigeria’s captains is Ime Udoka, who averaged 2.8 points in eight games with the Knicks last season.

          Other notable players include the former Oklahoma standout Ebi Ere, the former Texas forward Gabe Muoneke and the Maryland senior forward Ekene Ibekwe.

          Golden State Warriors center Ike Diogu and Philadelphia 76ers guard Andre Iguodala are also of Nigerian descent and could play for the national team if it qualifies for the Olympics, Vincent said.

          “Nigeria is blessed with incredible talent,” Vincent said. “Because of maybe less than good organization and preparation, their teams have never been able to take the place on the international scene that it deserves.”

          Basketball stills lags far behind soccer in Nigeria, which has a population of about 120 million.

          Besides Olajuwon, a goalkeeper for much of his youth, the country has also produced the former Nets center Yinka Dare and the current Boston Celtics center Michael Olowokandi.

          But there is increasing fanfare and government support for basketball, Udoka said.

          And there are signs of success. The women’s basketball team won its first Olympic game in Athens in 2004.

          Udoka said he expected Nigeria to improve on its 2-3 record and 13th-place finish in its previous trip to the world championships, in 1998.
          “There are some teams that we definitely should beat, and if we upset a team or two, we’ll be fine,” Udoka said.

          The top four teams from each six-team group advance to the next round. Nigeria’s group includes the Olympic champion, Argentina; the defending world champion, Serbia and Montenegro; and France, which features several N.B.A. players.

          Olajuwon’s involvement with the Nigerian national team could have significant implications for the future, Vincent said. Working out with Olajuwon could become an annual summer event, he said.

          “He’s the guy that has the network, the resources,” Vincent said. “He’s got the credibility, the professionalism and the history. He’s the guy who can pull a lot of things together for us and help us focus on three- to five-year plans as opposed to yearly plans.”

          The team practiced for two hours Friday morning, and afterward at least two players had their photographs taken with Olajuwon.

          “I had to get one,” said Chamberlain Oguchi, a junior swingman for Oregon who grew up in Houston watching Olajuwon play for the Rockets. “It’s a great honor to be on the same court as him. He’s a legend.”

          After Nigeria scrimmaged Friday night against a group of Houston-area players, the team went with Olajuwon to a local African restaurant for Nigerian and South African delicacies.

          Olajuwon, who lives in Amman, Jordan, with his wife and five children, has been in Houston the past two weeks as part of his annual summer visit to the city. In addition to the Nigerian national team, he has been working out with Emeka Okafor of the Charlotte Bobcats and other young players in one-on-one drills.

          His passion for tutoring basketball players is evident. Clad in a sweat-stained red T-shirt and black shorts Friday, he frequently rested his hulking hands on his knees between repetitions, but his trademark offensive post moves were still dangerous.

          He swiftly blocked one of Okafor’s shots and made a nifty move against another player to free himself for a duck-in layup.

          “That’s abuse,” Okafor said.

          Olajuwon teaches through playing, so at 43 he is competing against players half his age.

          He is already eyeing a potential game between the United States and Nigeria in the world championships. The earliest that matchup could happen is in the quarterfinals.

          “I’m from Nigeria, born in Nigeria,” Olajuwon said. “I’m an American who plays basketball. This is an American game.

          “If Nigeria plays U.S.A., it’ll be a good basketball game. The best team will win.”


          • #6
            Senegal are going to lose in the group D
            Originally Posted by -K2- View Post
            16 free throws in the last 4 minutes...
            Puerto Rico had 20 the whole game

            Seriosuly... someone quote this whole post and signature me... Greek Loby Rulz
            8/29/2010...THE DAY WE GOT ROBBED!


            • #7
              does that mean they will be last, or just lose one game?


              • #8
                I like how the Nigerian's play basketball. I just hope that Philippines learn from them. They really have the basics necessary to play the game. I see their players play in the NBA and in the PBA(Philippine Basketball Association). Their game is just so effective even against the high flying new breeds of players.
                Please visit -->THE IGNORED GENIUS


                • #9
                  Ekene Ibekwe proud of Nigeria's Effort at WBC

                  For most countries, the world championships are over and a losing record isn't all that it seems, especially in continents such as Africa and Asia where progress is more a real expectation than a medal. (link)

                  Ibekwe: "This is a great result for Nigeria basketball"
                  SAITAMA (FIBA World Championship) - The Nigerian team will leave Saitama this evening disappointed after their heartbreaking 78-77 defeat to Germany in the second round of the FIBA World Championship but very proud of the effort they gave throughout and even more so in their final game.

                  Sam Vincent's men - who qualified for the knockout stages after finishing third in Group A - pushed last year's EuroBasket runners up all the way and were a basket away from going through to the quarter-finals where they would have gone up against Team USA.

                  And among all the positives taken from this tournament, one of the biggest ones will be the play of forward Ekene Ibekwe who today was one of the main reasons why Nigeria could even consider the thought of going through to the quarter-finals.

                  Ibekwe finished with a game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds and had to go head to head with Dirk Nowitzki for most of the game.

                  FIBA correspondent Simon Wilkinson caught up with him after the Eight-Final against Germany.

                  FIBA: Obviously it has to be very hard to lose in the closing seconds of the game, but there are many reasons to feel good about this game.
                  Ibekwe: Yeah definitely. This is a tough loss but it's a great result for Nigeria basketball. I'm really proud of my team-mates. We've been through a lot these last couple of months. We didn't have a lot of time to train together so we were still trying to get to get to know one another during these games and figure our roles out there on the court, but this is all very encouraging for the team.

                  FIBA: Sam Vincent talked about Nigeria basketball being in a three-year development program. How does this performance today and your overall play in the tournament help Nigeria in this development phase?
                  Ibekwe: Well it's a huge step forward. We played really hard and we pushed a top ten team in the world to the very last second. To play against Germany and have the outcome of the game come down to the final possession is really a great experience and it's going to enable us to take a step in the right direction in the development of our team and of basketball in Nigeria as a whole.

                  FIBA: What does this performance prove to other teams who maybe didn't know before the start of the tournament or even in the second round what to expect from you?
                  Ibekwe: Well now we know and people will also know that the Nigerian team can compete against some of the best teams in the world and make it a close game. That's a great feeling.

                  FIBA: You had your best game of the tournament with 22 points, 10 rebounds and some good highlights. That's a great way to finish the competition before you go back to Maryland for your senior season.
                  Ibekwe: I just wanted to play well for my country. For me personally as a college player, this was a great experience - one that I couldn't pass up. To get the chance to come out here and go up against the likes of Dirk Nowitzki and Boris Diaw. That's the reason why I came out here. It's tough to play against those guys but I enjoyed the challenge.

                  FIBA: Can you talk about having to defend a player like Dirk?
                  Ibekwe: As you can imagined it's very hard. You're talking about an All-Star and one of the best players in the world. I told myself I would come out and try to do my best to slow him down. I wanted to contain him and not let him get any easy shots and go for a 40-point game.

                  FIBA: Your coach, Sam Vincent, has played a huge part in getting this team to this tournament in the time that he has been in charge. Tell us a bit about him.
                  Ibekwe: He's just a great coach. He has been getting us going throughout this competition and even when we had our bad games in the group stages he was there for us, getting us motivated and ready.

                  FIBA: Thanks and well done to Nigeria.
                  Ibekwe: Thank you


                  • #10
                    if only guys like Iggy or Ike Diogu can join the team

                    but they want to play for their new adopted home


                    • #11
                      Hello, just want to know if you know a 6'8 center/forward named Samuel Ekwe? Do you know his basketball credentials back in Nigeria? You see, he's a college player here, and a good one at that. His team, the San Beda College Red Lions is lording it over the college league here and he is dominating the local college kids.

                      and also, just want to add, Julius Nwosu used to play here in the Philippines, and he led his team to a championship. He was very likable when he was here.
                      <--- science always wins over bullshit --->


                      • #12
                        NIgerian National Team

                        Do you think SAM EKWE of SAN BEDA red lions currently playing in PH be a big help for your national team? man this guy is 6'8 and swats ball lyk no one else and dunks like shaq.. with proper training.. u can help this guy improve nd help ur team in the future..


                        • #13
                          Actually, Nigeria has very good players already. Last year's WC squad played greatly, even with many important players missing.


                          • #14
                            Pare The Nigerian national team is the source of naturalized players like olajuwon and many more
                            To becomes Asia's Best, we need to compete against the World's Best..
                            1 Big 4 small > 5 out offense.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by reamily
                              Pare The Nigerian national team is the source of naturalized players like olajuwon and many more
                              yup Okulaja, of Germany Olajuwon, of US baby shaq of greece <---- although Half-macedonian
                              PRO DEO ET PATRIA (in the service of God and Country)



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