The Nigeria Basketball Federation says the decision to represent Nigeria at the Olympics or future international events rests solely on individual players.
NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida made this known as calls for inclusion of rising Nigerian stars who recently got drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) league grows.
Eight players of Nigerian descent currently dominate the 2021 draft class and the federation believes that the D’Tigers Technical crew have enough selection worries in future if things go according to plans.
Kida reiterated that in line with the board’s decision to give all Nigerians an opportunity to represent their fatherland, the door is open to any interested player who wants to suit up for the teams (men and women).
“My sworn sense of fairness for all Nigerians is that we invite the best we can figure at any time. So, yes, they are on our radar and they are in constant talks with the technical team which is really in charge of contact with players.
“For us, they are Nigerians, they have proudly waved the Nigerian flag but we also know that to play or not, at the end of the day will be their personal decision”, Kida continued.
Precious Achiuwa (Miami Heats), Udoka Azubuike (Utah Jazz), Isaac Okoro (Cleveland Cavaliers) Onyeka Okongwu (Atlanta Hawks), Zeke Nnaji (Denver Nuggets), Desmond Bane (Boston Celtics), Daniel Oturu (LA Clippers) and Jordan Nwora (Milwaukee Bucks) all got drafted which added to the ever swelling pool of Nigerians already in the NBA.
While appealing to their emotional side, Kida is of the opinion that playing for Nigeria which they have proudly associated with during their draft night will be more rewarding and satisfying at the long run.
“Team USA or Team any country, we are hoping that they will be more proud to play for their fatherland than to be adopted by other countries.”