D’Tigers “have a lot of things to fix” if they’re to mount a proper challenge at the Afrobasket tournament in Rwanda and the 2020 Olympics captain of the team Ike Diogu has said.
Diogu who was a member of the team at the London 2012 Olympics said following the conclusion of the Afrobasket qualifiers last month, players must strive to remain in good shape ahead of the Tokyo Games.
“The goal is for everybody to go back to their various clubs, stay in shape and meet back in the summer for the 2020 Olympics,” the 37-year-old legend told NBBF media.
Diogu, the longest-serving player in the national team, made his Afrobasket debut in 2013, topping the scoring charts in Cote d’Ivoire with 21.9 points per game despite D’Tigers finishing 7th after a quarter-final loss to Senegal.
After years of representing Nigeria at various international tournaments with a diverse spread of players, Diogu believes the current crop of national team players have what it takes to challenge for honours in Rwanda and Tokyo – but only if they “fix” “a lot of things”.
“We have a lot of things to fix because there will be some guys that will be added and removed from the roster, so I am looking forward to having a complete team,” Diogu who signed for Iranian side Chemidor Basketball Club said.
His last outing at the Afrobasket tournament ended with defeat in the final to hosts Tunisia in 2017 and he is desperate to go a step further and win Nigeria’s second-ever continental title.
Asked about the team’s expectations ahead of the Rwanda tournament, Diogu said, “To win just like everybody else, the same thing for us too. We want to try and establish being the best team in Africa just like the rest of the other teams.”
With one Afrobasket gold, a silver medal, two Olympics appearances and another one in view, Diogu is undoubtedly D’Tigers most successful player and future FIBA Africa Hall of Famer.