Former NBA point guard, Ben Uzoh, insists that Nigeria’s D’Tigers can make an impact in their second straight appearance at the Olympic Games at the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil.
Uzoh, who has fully recovered from a thoracic outlet syndrome – a group of disorders that occur when the blood vessels or nerves in the space between the collarbone and first rib [thoracic outlet] become compressed – told FIBA.com that the Olympic-bound team is instilling a winning mindset in their interactive forum ahead of the games.
The former New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors star, who was cut by NBA Developmen’s Canton Charge in 2014 due to illness, added: “First off, it is an honour to play and represent Nigeria on the biggest sports stage in the world. Our target will be to earn a medal.
“Our group chat should be ranked No. 1 in the world. Outside of being just silly, we speak throughout the week to give each other updates, share ideas and opinions about the upcoming Olympic Games.”
The former University of Tulsa star also recounted the efforts put in as Nigeria claimed their first ever AfroBasket title in Rades, Tunisia, a result which qualified D’Tigers directly for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Winning AfroBasket 2015 was amazing,” Uzoh, 28, recalled. “Everyone, from the federation, coaches, and players sacrificed towards the goal of bringing the first AfroBasket title in our country’s history. It was far from easy but most definitely worth it.”
Nigeria have been drawn in Group B of the Rio 2016 Olympic Basketball Tournament, alongside Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Lithuania, and a team that will qualify via one of the three 2016 Olympic Qualifying Tournaments.