D’Tigers coach Alex Nwora on Sunday named the country’s 18-man squad for the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers in Bamako, Mali, from February 23 to 25. On the list released by the Nigeria Basketball Federation, five players from the squad who helped Nigeria win silver at the 2017 Afrobasket and two members of the 2015 Afrobasket winning squad topped the list.
Agua Caliente Clippers’ Ikechukwu Ireogbu, Ike Nwamu (Sioux Falls Skyforce), Chile-based Bryant Mbamalu (CD Vildivia), China-based Ike Diogu (Schun Blue Whales) and Turkey-based Ayodeji Akindele (Belediye Spor), who shone at the 2017 Afrobasket, made the list alongside Eli Abraham (Kano Pillars), Abdulwahab Yakubu (Gombe Bulls) and Musa Usman Mohammed (Mark Mentors).
Ben Uzoh (unattached), Michael Gbinijie (Santa Cruz Warriors, USA) made their return to the national team after missing out on the 2017 Nations Cup co-hosted by Senegal and Tunisia.
Other players invited are Ofoegbu Chima (unattached), Ojo Adetokunbo (Worcester Wolves, UK), Mike Efevbeha (Sagesse, Lebanon), Obi Emenago (Rouen Basket, France), Omogbo Emmanuel (Pesaro, Italy), Nwogbo Afam (Sendai 89ers, Japan), Talib Zanna (Ironi Nes-Ziona, Israel) and Christopher Ewaoche (Tranzaspor, Turkey).
In a statement, the NBBF said it had an arrangement for the foreign-based players to arrive in Bamako on February 19.
Nwora said, “Active players in their clubs who are available have been invited to represent Nigeria. We have a very formidable team that I believe will sail through.”