As the home based D’Tigers file out on Saturday for their Group B match of the inaugural edition of FIBA AFROCAN against Kenya, the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Engr. Musa Kida, has charged the team to reach for the sky.
In his message to the team, Kida urged the players to collectively put smiles on the faces of Nigerians whose passion for sports is insatiable.
The NBBF president, who was with the team in camp before their departure on Thursday, said following the recent achievements of Nigeria on the international stage, there is a minimum standard already set by Nigerians.
Kida said: “All over the world, all eyes will be on you because with what we have achieved in the last two years, we have gained a new global status.
“As our representative in the AFROCAN, you must be aware that there are minimum requirements expected from you.
“In the last two years, what we have done has been short of very remarkable by way of bringing basketball to the global map and Nigerians are expecting you to continue this run of form.”
Kida alerted the team about the fierce competition that awaits them with all participating teams out to outplay and record decent results against the D’Tigers.
He said: “You are also going to be going against the tide.
“As you all know, Nigeria is a strong force in African basketball and many countries will hope to get a good result if not against any other country but Nigeria.”
He said the newly introduced AFROCAN competition is a true test for the lads who are deemed to be the best basketball players plying their trade in the domestic scene.
He said: “You are deemed to be best the players in the country right now and that is something you should be very proud of.
“I do hope that by the end of the tournament, you are going to bring smiles to our faces.”
Nigeria is paired alongside Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo in Group B.