D’Tigers captain, Ike Diogu has blamed the tight schedule of FIBA’s international calendar for the persistence absence of some members of the 2015 Afrobasket-winning squad from the Nigerian team.
Diogu also dispels rumours of conflicts between the players and the Nigeria Basketball Federation as reasons for their continued absence, reiterating tjat the players remain patriotic and ready to serve Nigeria.
“The good thing with me playing in China is that I have a lot of flexibility as my season is a lot shorter than these guys playing in Europe or NBA,” Diogu told the Nigeria Basketball Federation media department.
“I don’t really need much notice, but some of these guys need more of the notice than they are given, so they are not able to get out of their engagements.”
The Sichuan Blue Whales of China player also assures that the bulk of the 2015 D’Tigress set are ready to be part of the project being embarked on by the federation
“I talked to Stan Okoye, Olaseni Lawal, Al-Farouk and Alade Aminu, Chamberlain Oguchi. All of those guys want to be here and support us,” he stated.
“We are one big family and there is no animosity. There is nobody who does not want to play, we all love playing for Nigeria.”
He however hopes that come September, some of the players will be around to help the Nigerian team qualify for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Lagos will host Group F which comprises Nigeria,Senegal, Central Africa, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire and Mali between the 14th and 16th of September.