D’Tigers swingman Stanley Okoye says Nigeria can get a podium finish at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Okoye who was an integral part of Nigeria’s 2015 basketball team that won the country’s first-ever Afrobasket title in Tunisia believes the level of talent in D’Tigers means a medal in Tokyo should be the aim.
The Herbalife Gran Canaria of Spain player told Nigeria Basketball Federation media that within the players believe D’Tigers are one of the world’s top teams and are determined to prove that on the global scene.
“For us, we have always talked about it. We want a medal. We have to look forward to the Olympics. We want to stay on the podium,” the 29-year-old said.
Reminiscing on D’Tigers 2019 FIBA World Cup performance in China, the US-born small forward who missed out on the 2019 Afrobasket tournament co-hosted by Tunisia and Senegal rued the team’s inability to advance from their group describing it as a missed opportunity to fight for a medal.
“At the 2019 World Cup, I felt like we had the opportunity if we had gotten out of the group stage, we would have had a decent run to get a medal.”
With D’Tigers currently ranked 23 in the world and number one in Africa, Okoye believes that a second-ever Afrobasket triumph is a distinct possibility for Nigeria.
“They know we are the best in Africa, so we have to get gold every time. If we don’t then we have fallen short,” he said.