D’Tigress of Nigeria forward Ndidi Madu expects success next month when her country competes for one of the five Olympic tickets on offer at the 2016 FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Madu, who was one of the star players of Mozambique side Ferroviario de Maputo who claimed a third-place finish at the African Champions Cup for Women (ACCW) 2015, is confident she can achieve more success with her national team in France.
American-Nigerian Madu, who joined Montenegrin side ZKK Buducnost Podgorica and helped them win the Women’s Adriatic League (WABA) 2016 title three days before her 27th birthday, is one of Nigeria’s star players expected to be pivotal to the country’s quest for a Rio 2016 women’s basketball event slot.
Madu told FIBA.com that she looks forward to Nigeria’s Olympic odyssey which will begin with them facing Belarus and Korea in Group C at the WOQT.
Although Nigeria is the lowest ranked team in the event – 42nd in the FIBA World Ranking Women – Madu feels it gives them extra motivation.
She admitted that Belarus and Korea are both very good teams but added: “I really don’t think rankings matters.”
If Nigeria can win at least one game in the Group Phase and a Quarter-Final or can finish fifth, Madu will complete a successful year with a trip to Rio.
“Nigeria has a great chance of taking one of the last five tickets to Rio for the 2016 Olympics,” she said.
A regular member of her national team, Madu ignited Nigeria to a third-place finish at last October’s AfroBasket Women. As a result, they secured one of the two places on offer for African teams for the 12-team WOQT taking place from 13-19 June.