Nigeria’s preparation for the FIBA U-19 Women’s Basketball Championship has started with a bit of a worry expressed by stakeholders considering that in faraway France where the team is on a pre-tournament tour, the basketball federation has more officials than the principal actors, the players.
Consequently, the team has lost its first two games. France beat Nigeria by 66 -63 points and China also beat Nigeria by 60 – 45 points. A source within the Nigerian Basketball Federation informed LEADERSHIP SPORTS that the Coach of the team, Adewumi Aderemi finally made the trip to meet the team even though it was earlier not sure if he would be joining the team. He had threatened to resign if demoted to the position of an assistant coach.
The source also revealed that Coach Aderemi has not issued out his threat even though he is at the moment serving as an assistant coach to an American, Kevin Cook, as earlier exclusively reported by LEADERSHIP SPORTS.
It was also revealed by our source that the players currently prosecuting the training tour for Nigeria are six instead of the recommended 16 players. He said the rule is that 12 players must be registered for a particular match but said Nigeria has only six players. Five on the court during games and only 1 as reserve instead of seven players.
The source also revealed that the federation stormed the event in France with seven officials comprising two coaches and five officials from the basketball federation including the President, Tijani Umar and Secretary, Francis Gbiri. “The total number of officials is more than that of the players registered for the tour. The reverse should be the case. Moreover, the six girls registered are all based in America and did not contribute to the team’s qualification for the World Championships. The girls that won the ticket for Nigeria are left back at home in Nigeria amid promises that they would soon join the team even after two matches have already been played.” The World Championship commences in faraway Chile from July 24 and the secretary of the federation had told LEADERSHIP SPORTS exclusively that, the girls from Nigeria would be part of the trip to France to blend with the girls from America during the tour where the best players would be chosen for the World Championships. “It appears that agenda has been dumped considering that the slots of the home based players have been taken over by the officials of the federation.” The source cried.