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 By Obi Martins Okafor.
The victorious Nigerian basketball team. Photo:
The countdown to the Olympic Games has gone from years to months to weeks and now a few days away. Preparations are already hitting home stretch and athletes and fans who will be involved are already sweating on the suspense of this spectacle As expected, Nigeria will be participating in one of the team sports but this time it is the Basketball event and not football like the previous years. Over the years, more attention has been directed towards Football, almost making Basketball almost a non-existed sport in the country. Yet the team still thrives out of an almost penniless account. Nigeria qualified for their first Olympic Games with an 88-73 victory over the Dominican Republic in the final game of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. It was a remarkable effort given only three players returned from last year’s team, the group had only two weeks preparation, and they had to defeat the world fourth and fifth ranked teams along the way. The head coach, Bakare believes the team’s success and the entertaining style they play will deliver basketball a higher place in the pecking order. “It’s changing already”, he said. “We had a phone call from the Minister and the Ambassador has been at every game. For us, if we have this exposure it begins to work for us.” With basketball being the only team sport Nigeria will be participating in, it should be given the same, if not better treatment like the football team who collects bonus even after losing a match.

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This article was first published on 16th July 2012 and updated on July 18th, 2012 at 12:58 pm


Dami is the editor and business developer for she is an On-Air Personality and also an Artist with a focus in sculpting and pottery.

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