D’Tigers coach, Mike Brown, has named his final 12-man roster for the 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers with long-serving captain Ike Diogu headlining the squad.
The tournament, which is Brown’s first in charge of Nigeria’s men’s national basketball team since his appointment dunks off in Kigali, Rwanda on Wednesday and will run until 29 November.
Brown, who is also an Associate Head Coach at the Golden State Warriors replaced Alex Nwora as head coach of D’Tigers following the FIBA World Cup in China, although Nwora remains on the coaching staff.
The team arrived Kigali on Monday and had their first practice on Tuesday evening, after results of their COVID-19 tests returned negative
D’Tigers open their Group D campaign against South Sudan on Thursday, before taking on Mali and hosts Rwanda. South Sudan replaced Algeria who pulled out of the tournament.
Capital City Go-Go point guard, Ike Iroegbu; Orléans Loiret Basket power forward, Chima Moneke; BC Nevėžis shooting guard, Michael Gbinije; Baloncesto Fuenlabrada shooting guard, Obi Emegano and Kamza Basket point guard, Jordan Ogundiran also made the cut.
Others in Kigali include POAK Athens power forward, Amanze Egezeke; Baloncesto Peñas Huesca centre, Emmanuel Omogbo; shooting guard, Ibe Agu, who plays for home-based side Civil Defenders; MBC Mykolaiv shooting guard, Keith Omoerah and Hapoel Be’er Sheva point guard, Caleb Agada.
Among those dropped are veteran Stan Okoye, Ikechukwu Nwamu, Talib Zanna, Michael Eric, Tonye Jekiri, Rasheed Sulaimon, Festus Ezeli and Ekpe Udoh, all of whom had made the initial 20-man list for the championship.
The qualifiers features a total of twenty teams divided into five groups of four teams.
The top three teams in each group will qualify along for the 30th Afrobasket tournament scheduled to hold in Rwanda from 24 August to 5 September 2021.
Senegal take on Kenya and Angola plays Mozambique in the opening games on Wednesday.
Group A: Tunisia, CAR, DR Congo, Madagascar
Group B: Senegal, Angola, Mozambique, Kenya
Group C: Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea
Group D: Nigeria, Mali, Rwanda, South Sudan
Group E: Morocco, Egypt, Uganda, Cape Verde