Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare on Monday met the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, as part of ongoing engagement with sports Federations to kick off preparations for Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The Minister commended the board of NBBF for Nigeria’s recent successes at continental and international tournaments noting that Nigerians expect more successes.
He however cautioned that these victories should not lull them into unpreparedness.
He said “I have seen two years of incredible growth and performance in Nigerian basketball. You are expected to sustain this and to do this you need a board that is performing, a coaching crew that is committed and players that are good.
“For the Olympics, we start counting from now. We have just ten months. About 300 days. Other countries started several years ago.
“We must start our camps and start preparing. If there are issues that will mitigate the game we must start tackling them now,” Mr Dare stressed.
In an executive session with the board members, he emphasized the need for team members of the male and female basketball teams to have enough time for camping so that they can blend.
The board will also seek to deepen the technical depth of its coaching bench to strengthen the country’s chances.
NBBF President, Ahmadu-Kida Musa, told the minister that male basketball team, D’Tigers has automatically qualified for the Olympics while the female team, D’Tigress has bright chances of qualifying.
He said “I am very confident that our girls will scale through their qualifiers and perform at the Olympics.