By Nikos Varlas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Despite speculation about Nigeria even withdrawing from the upcoming FIBA World Cup, the Nigerian national team left today for China.
The country, which is celebrating the back-to-back Afrobasket titles of the women’s national team, will be represented by a roster, which is considered probably the strongest ever from an African country and includes names like Ekpe Udoh and Chimezie Metu of the San Antonio Spurs. Those were two of the players that expressed their concern for the financial troubles on social media.
As it was announced today, the funds for the team and the travel to China have been secured by the local basketball federation and Nigeria, which includes more familiar names like Michael Eric, Josh Okogie of Minnesota and Al-Farouq Aminu of Orlando, can really turn heads in the upcoming tournament.
According to the Nigerian federation: “With many wondering whether the much anticipated financial intervention by the Federal Government has come, the NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida said the federation had to internally source for funds through loans. Kida said the federation cannot afford to allow Nigeria which became the first country in the world to qualify for the world cup to miss out or go to China as mere participants. The journey has not been easy due to delay in the release of funds by the Federal Government. The federation has bent backward once again to ensure that we do what we need to do to save Nigeria from global embarrassment by missing the World Cup. Kida expressed optimism that the Federal Government will intervene and rescue the team and the federation financially before the competition commences”.
Photo credit: FIBA