PRESS RELEASE: INVITATION TO CAMP OF D’TIGRESS FOR THE 2023

NBBF PRESS RELEASE

INVITATION TO CAMP OF THE NIGERIAN WOMEN TEAM (D’TIGRESS) FOR THE 2023 AFROBASKET CHAMPIONSHIPS IN KIGALI, RWANDA.

Following the successful conclusion of the open trials that were conducted in Lagos, Abuja, and Chicago, some talented Nigerian basketball players have been identified and invited to camp for final selection to the Nigerian Women’s National team that will represent Nigeria in the 2023 Afrobasket Championship, which is scheduled to take place in Kigali, Rwanda, from the 28th of July to 6th of August, 2023.

The NBBF would want to clarify some misconceptions, false information, misleading interviews and some deliberately paid untrue journalistic efforts, which have been making rounds in the media space, that have the tendency to tarnish and denigrate the image and efforts of NBBF and the Federal Government, if left unchecked.

1) The open trials that were undertaken in Chicago, Lagos, and Abuja, were opened to all aspiring talented Nigerian female players, who are ready to showcase their basketball talents and skills in order to tryout for the Nigerian Women’s National team and play in the 2023 Women Afrobasket Championships.
This is to also enable the NBBF to continue its deliberate search for the best talents it can get, and most especially give the emerging youthful talents, all over the globe, the opportunity to avail themselves for consideration and possible selection to the national team. An opportunity we have always created for talented players since we took over in 2017.

2) The format of the trials was also quite necessary and unavoidable, as the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports is currently faced with a paucity of funds, that has affected all the Sports Federations, and Government is yet to provide the required funds for the 2023 Women’s AfroBasket championship. There are such liabilities as the last Women’s AfroBasket championship played in Cameroon in 2019, amongst many others, in which the Nigerian Women’s National Team (D’Tigress) prepared, participated, and won the trophy, are undergoing processing and still not refunded till this day. The Tokyo Olympics preparation of the Men and Women’s National teams is also in advanced stages with the Ministry for refund. Faced with this circumstance and reality, the NBBF is not in a position to buy air tickets, pay hotel bills, and pay allowances for these trials on its own, as the federation cannot limitlessly continue to borrow on specific programs with such borrowed funds with limited visibility on when they will be paid. Despite the fact that these liabilities of borrowed funds are yet to be paid, we do appreciate the Ministry’s huge effort in processing the refunds.

3) The Federation believes that playing for the National team, in any Sport, is a patriotic clarion call that comes with sacrifices, passion, discipline, and respect for the country, especially in such a dire financial situation. Above all, it is a very personal choice to participate or not, depending on the sacrifice one is looking to make. Just like other Championships, the team composition of the Women Afrobasket championships is not any different and we do understand that no two positions are the same for all contending or aspiring players. However, It is very improper for anyone to cast aspersions on the NBBF or blackmail the country just because one’s personal desires or expectations of how things must be done are not satisfied. It is also not patriotic and saddening for those that are close to these players to not give them good advice, as the results have always served to retard the progress made by the team while discouraging those that genuinely make sacrifices for all the successes that the team recorded over the years. It is on record that some members of the 2021 Afrobasket team, amongst others, have heeded the call to duty for the country and attended the trials for the 2023 Afrobasket championships.

4) It is important to recall that just after winning the last edition of the Women’s Afrobasket in 2021, in Cameroun, the players immediately released a video recording, where they made all manners of Innuendos, accusations and threats in absolutely clear preference in believing information and ill advise they got with regards to explanations on the indebtedness of the federation and the sacrifices and efforts being made for them to participate in all of their events, and the efforts the NBBF and Ministry are making to get funds released to pay off all their outstanding entitlements and promptly, by the NBBF leadership. They even apparently refused to believe the explanations of the President of the NBBF which he gave them each time he visited the team, and even the constant and regular briefing done to them by Col. Sam Ahmedu, a ranking Board member of the NBBF, who was always present with them in practically all the camps and championships throughout 2017 to 2021 since he is very much aware that there are unpaid debts of the Federation, and the Federation and the Ministry were making huge efforts to get funds released to pay off the liabilities and borrowed funds.
The players succumbed to untruths told them to disparage the NBBF, the FMYSD, the Nigerian government, and HE the Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic Nigerian, who was doing everything possible to get funds released to pay off their remaining entitlements for those periods and went on to threaten and blackmail the Federation and country, with a boycott of all continental and international basketball activities.
The actions of the players ignited the reaction of the Government to withdraw Nigeria from all International Basketball activities and the eventual non-participation of Nigeria in the 2022 Women’s World Cup in Australia before it was later reversed.
It is regrettable that since then, the players have not participated in any activity that concerns Nigeria basketball in the last 2 years, to the detriment of Nigerian women’s basketball. It also took away the strong visibility Nigeria Women’s Basketball enjoyed globally before then, following their meteoric rise, that should have been sustained or built upon. For the sake of completeness, the NBBF can authoritatively confirm that the players and officials have since been fully paid the Honorable Minister’s “adopt a team” initiative donations, and all of their genuine outstanding claims and allowances when Government eventually released the funds for their payment, and these are yet to be reported in any media, as did their viral video, till now.

5) it is important to clearly state that the NBBF has not shut its doors on any player who wishes to patriotically be part of the team to the 2023 Afrobasket championship and has proven skills and talent to make the team, as long as such player shows deserving superior form at present. The NBBF expects the players and officials finally selected to go to Kigali to represent Nigeria with a high level of patriotism, professionalism, and thirst for glory. It has to be clear that, only the Coaches are responsible for the final screening and selection of the players that will wear the national colours of Nigeria in Kigali, Rwanda, without outside influence.

6) Once again, the NBBF wishes to strongly appreciate the efforts of the Ministry and the Presidency, made towards the gradual payment of the outstanding liabilities of the Federation and hopes that expedited actions will be taken to clear off the outstanding debts so that the Federation can also financially redeem itself, in order for the federation to be able to access further funds to attend to all of its activities seamlessly.

7) The NBBF wants to assure the country, that it will always put its best foot forward, and that the Nigerian Women’s National Basketball team will do their best to make Nigeria proud, despite the numerous setbacks experienced by the teams over the last two years.

8) The Federation will continue to seek ways to ensure a good environment and successful camping exercise, as well as the participation of the D’Tigress in the 2023 Afrobasket Championships, to its best ability with dedication and a high level of discipline.

NBBF MEDIA

3 thoughts on “PRESS RELEASE: INVITATION TO CAMP OF D’TIGRESS FOR THE 2023”

  1. Give and take, the players must not be blamed for the chaos and infighting within NBBF which polarized the association, sending different messages out there not only to the players but to other Nigerians and the world at large.
    I submit that despite what anybody feels those girls did, they still deserve our respect and appreciation. Communication is key to resolving issues as adults. Let NBBF put themselves together as it will amount to injustice treating this group that brought glory and honour to the fatherland in an abysmal manner.
    I do not know why Nigerian government officials see protest, as an unpardonable sin. If you do not want people to protest, be ready to tidy up your loose ends at all times. As Protest is the last resort when leaders, the government, etc. ignore people’s plight, which is normal. That they disgraced the country, that is not an issue, World over sportsmen and women protest that is it?
    NBBF knows that players engaged by clubs can not just leave without something to show that they are needed not open invitation on social media, that was disrespectful. What sacrifice can be more than these ladies going to play FIBA world cup qualifiers during the deadly covid19? Let’s call a spade a spade, there is an element of vengeance/vindictiveness against them. Most of them were born in America where there is absolute freedom of expression, knowing this, we must be cautious about how we treat them and others thereafter.

  2. Absolute rubbish, lies upon lies. I’m rooting for Senegal to deal with Nigeria so bad. You people can continue with your lies.

  3. Is highly unfortunate that we don’t have a league running in Nigeria because of some selfish individuals.
    With the talents we have around the world we are not going to world.
    If you like give explanation till next year nobody believes you again.
    Highly intelligent individuals like Olumide who have seen it all in basketball is there following Kida and Babs who are avaricious and power drunk.
    Is high time we un-slave Nigerian basketball from Kida & Babs and channel a way forward for the development of the game.
    With kida Nigerian Basketball is finished. I think we all saw what we did in the BAL & Afrocan.
    A word is enough for the wise.

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