By Okechukwu Emmanuel
Nigeria’s senior men’s basketball National team D’Tigers are set to begin their campaign to qualify for the 2021 AfroBasket Championship today in Kigali, Rwanda when they battle South Sudan.
The 2015 African champions are paired in Group D with the host Rwanda, as well as Mali and today’s opponent South Sudan.
Veteran Ike Diogu is leading the D’Tigers to push at the qualifiers alongside 11 players selected by D’Tigers’ Coach Mike Brown.
Others include Point guard, Ben Uzor, Capital City Go-Go point guard, Ike Iroegbu, Orleans Loiret Basket power forward, Chima Moneke, BC Nevezis Shooting guard, Michael Gbinije, Baloncesto Fuenlabrada shooting guard, Obi Emegano, and Kamza Basket point guard, Jordan Ogundiran.
POAK Athens power forward, Amanze Egezeke, Baloncesto Penas Huesca center, Emmanuel Omogbo, shooting guard, Ibe Agu, who plays for home-based side, Civil Defenders, MBC Mykolaiv shooting guard, Keith Omerah and Hapoel Be’er Sheva point guard, Caleb Agada.
Brown who is an associate head coach of NBA’s Golden State Warriors, is leading the Nigerian team to his first tournament since replacing Alex Nwora.
The Coach dropped the likes of Stan Okoye, Ikechukwu Nwamu, Talib Zanna, Michael Eric, Tonye Jekiri, Rasheed Sulaimon, Festus Ezeli, and Ekpe Udoh, all of whom had made the initial 20-man list for the championship.
D’Tigers who arrived in Kigali on Monday had their first practice on Tuesday evening after results of their Covid-19 tests returned negative.
The AfroBasket qualifiers are scheduled to hold between November 25 and November 29 at the Kigali Arena in Rwanda.
The 12-Man D’Tigers team list in Full are:
~Ike Diogu (6)
~Ben Uzor (4)
~Ike Iroegbu (1)
~Obi Emegano (11)
~Caleb Agada (3)
~Keith Omoerah (2)
~Ibe Agu (12)
~Emmanuel Omogbo (5)
~Michael Gbinije (22)
~Amanze Egezeke (32)
~Jordan Ogundiran (0)
~Chima Moneke (9)
Head Coach: Mike Brown.