Nigeria’s men’s basketball senior national team, D’Tigers’ coach, Alex Nwora has spoken out in lamentations over the financial blight that has hit his squad, as he admitted his players are discouraged that their flight to China for the FIBA World Cup has been delayed by lack of funds.
The former Cape Verde national team handler pointed out that many of the players he has listed for this month’s competition are new in the squad, some even travelling home to Nigeria for the first time, and he fears they might be discouraged from honouring another invitation.
While making his thoughts known during Mega Sports on Star 101.5 FM, Lagos, Nwora went on to express worries over their chances of excelling at the impending championship, where they are scheduled to have their first match on Thursday, as their arrival in China has been delayed.
He refrained from blaming the president of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Engineer Ahmad Musa-Kida for any shortcoming, as he noted that the slamming-dunking boss has played a key role over the past months in financing their programmes with his own personal funds.
In what could, therefore, be inferred as indictment of federal ministry of sports, under whose purview lies the task of extending grants to the NBBF, Nwora sued for better funding for the basketball national team, especially when major global competitions like the one at hand beckon.
Nwora moaned: “We’re supposed top be playing on the 22nd, but here we are, still stuck at home, because there are no funds.
“We are trying to build a dynasty for the Nigerian basketball national team, but what we are facing is saddening.
“Many of these players have come home for the first time. They left what they are doing to honour our invitations and represent the country.
“Most of them are coming for the first time. How will we be able to make them come the next time? The funding has been coming from the president of the Federation, Musa-Kida, but he cannot do it all alone.”