Afrobasket 2019: How Aisha Mohammed Led D’Tigress to Afrobasket Triumph Despite “Juju” Scare

Nigeria’s Senior Women Basketball team player, Aisha Mohammed says the D’Tigress were victims of several forms of hostilities alongside a Voodoo scare at halftime during their final encounter against Senegal at the recently concluded Women Afrobasket Championship in Dakar.

The D’Tigress defeated the Senegalese Women 60-55 to win the 24th edition of the FIBA Afrobasket Women’s title.  

At halftime, Nigeria were up by eight points. Nerves were up, hearts were wrenching, sits were gripped, and the stadium was jam-packed. All of that was visible in and around the court but something else was happening behind the scene.  

“Halftime I went into the locker room. On our way out, we saw some eggs,” Aisha who had revealed the Championship in Dakar was going to be her last on the African scene before the Tokyo 2020 Olympics narrated on-screen to Phatill Chat.

“They broke some eggs in front of our locker room to scare us so we can lose the game but as a leader I’ve been there before. This is not my first Championship. In 2003 in Mali, they did the same thing to us but unfortunately, we lost that game.

“This time around I know I got the experience. I know what they (were) trying to do. It’s like they’re trying to do charm or juju or whatever they call it but they’re just trying to scare us so we can lose the game.” Mohammed said.

In the fourth quarter, Senegal were relentless as D’Tigress struggled to keep up with the pace of the game and the vociferous atmosphere.

She explained the hostilities experienced by the team in the heat of the game.

“We were sitting at the bench; they were pouring salt and water on us. We didn’t care. We were just trying to focus to win.” Aisha revealed.

Aisha’s experience as a long-serving member of the team came to bear for the D’Tigress as the team rallied to victory in the dying seconds to become the second country after Angola to win the title consecutively.

“I try and encourage my girls and tell them this is nothing they’re just trying to scare us so we can lose the game and I pumped the fire.”

The 33-year-old joined the D’Tigress in 2002 winning four titles in 2003, 2005, and 2017 including the Afrobasket title in Dakar and is poised to retire after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to focus on her family.