The Head of Nigeria’s D’Tigers, Mike Brown has faulted the timing of the 2021 Afrobasket championship which is coming up immediately after the Summer Olympics.
He said it has proved to be challenging for players and the coaching staff.
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The American, however, assured that despite the challenges, his players will be ready on time for their opening match against Mali on Wednesday, August 25, in Kigali.
“It is just a bad timing for FIBA Africa to have the tournament, but FIBA decides to have the Asian and African games at the same time as the Olympics and NBA players cannot participate in both because that is the rule.”
On why a lot of the regular faces were missing in the final list, Brown said “It’s been a long summer for the players. They came to camp on June 20th, went through the Olympics process and I am asking them to come here.
“It is a long summer for everybody including the coaches and on top of that, the camp right now is at the same time when a lot of training camps are happening”.
He also revealed that many of the players who participated during the Afrobasket qualifiers as well as the Olympics camp wanted to play, but holding training camps with their various clubs made it extremely difficult.
“So, it makes it difficult for us to have a competition like this. I think all competitions should happen next summer,” he said.
The coach is also hopeful that the four new players that arrived from Nigeria on Saturday can get in shape before D’Tigers’ first match.
After their opening match with Mali on August 25, D’Tigers will face Kenya on Friday before taking on Ivory Coast on Sunday, August 29 for their last Group C match.