D’Tigers head coach, Mike Brown says many African teams can more than hold their own against with the best basketball sides in the world, if Federations on the continent put the right structures in place.
Brown who recently completed his first ever national team assignment in Africa after being contracted by the Nigeria Basketball Federation to handle the D’Tigers, said there are great prospects for the sport in the continent judging by what he experienced at the just concluded 2021 FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers.
Brown, who is also an assistant coach with the Golden State Warriors, guided Nigeria to a perfect three victories out of three at the qualifiers.
Teams have commenced preparations for the third window of the qualifiers between 19-21 February, 2021 which was announced by FIBA on Monday.
Speaking with NBBF Media, Coach Brown said, “The game of basketball in Africa is unique from the standpoint that every team you look at possesses the athleticism necessary for the game.
“Physically, they are there and we have a lot of physically gifted players. When you put all together and try to bring out maximum potential from each of these African teams, it is something that everybody is striving for.”
With many teams struggling to break into the top 30 in the global ranking except for Nigeria currently ranked 23rd and first in Africa, Brown said once many national federations invest in quality coaches and put the right structure in place, they will definitely improve drastically to become a global force.
“Now, we just have to get a little bit organized, get more coaching, a little more structure and we can compete with the best around the world. Once that is done, I think basketball in Africa is going to improve tremendously”.
Despite D’Tigers’ perfect result with wins against South Sudan, Rwanda and Mali, that put them top of Group B after three games, Brown said that the results did not reflect the opposition his team faced.
The team will hope to maintain its unbeaten run on the continent when the qualifiers resume next year.