Nigeria’s men’s senior national basketball team, D’Tigers, will open camp with 44 players on Sunday, July 7 in Buffalo, USA, to commence preparations for this year’s FIBA Men’s World Cup in China.
D’Tigers’ coach, Alex Nwora disclosed that all players on his preliminary roaster for China 2019 will report at Erie Community College, with team captain, Ike Diogu leading the roll call of invitees.
Others on the roll call are Ben Uzoh, Ike Iroegbu, Agada Caleb, Emegano Obinna, Efevhera Michael, Al Farouq Aminu, Stanley Okoye, Ayodeji Akindele, Jordan Nwora, Aminu Alade, Tosin Mehinti, Zana Talib and Chris Obekpa, who all featured during the qualifiers.
The list also includes David Nwaba (Cleveland Cavaliers), Josh Akogie (Minnesota Timberwolves), Nwamu Ike (Fort Wayne Mad Ants), Michael Eric, Charles Bassey, Ike Obiagu, Achiuwa Precious and TK Edogi.
They will be joined by Ogugua “OG” Anunoby from Toronto Raptors, Semi Ojeleye of Boston Celtic, as well as Ochai Agbaji, Vincent Nnamdi, Stephen Domingos, Moneke Chima and Joshua Ifeoluwa Ajayi.
Completing the invitees from overseas are Stephen Ugochukwu, Ado Abdul, Chimezie Metu (San Antonio Spurs), Ekpe Udoh (Utah Jazz) and recently drafted trio of Miye Oni (Miami Heat), Chuma Okeke (Orlando Magic) and Kezie Okpalla (Phoenix Suns).
The home-based invitees are Agu Abuchi Ibe, Okpe Ocheibi Victor, Abdul Yahaya, Vincent Buchi Nwaiwu, Victor Koko Anthony, Michael Oguine, and Jordan Ogundiran, alongside former Golden State Warriors of USA star, Festus Ezeli.
Nwora, who will be assisted by former Memphis Grizzlies’ tactician, Glynn Cyrien as well as the Nigerian duo of Mfon Udofia from Atlanta Hawks and Ogoh Odaudu of Rivers Hoopers, said his final 12-player list will land in Nigeria on August 12.
The team will then settle in Lagos for the final round of training before leaving on August 18, for the competition’s venue in China, where they will battle Korea, Argentina and Russia in Group B.
Before heading to the championship, D’Tigers will confront fellow-FIBA Men’s World Cup-bound Dominican Republic in a friendly at Palacio de Los Deportes in San Domingo on July 20th and 22nd.
They wioll get another build-up game against former NBA players and Euro All Stars on July 26, to round off the first lap of their preparations, while the scond phase of camping will commence on July 29.
D’Tigers’ USA-based players are expected to report to camp for the final lap of preparations on August 1 before departing for Toronto on August 5, where they will take on Canada in build-up ties on August 7 and 9.