Former D’Tigers captain, Olumide Oyedeji, has slammed the Nigeria Basketball Federation and the coaches of the men’s team for being technically backward after releasing a 44-man provisional list ahead of the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China with just two months to the competition.
Head coach of the team, Alex Nwora, on June 27 released a list of 44 players for the preparatory period heading to the World Cup in China holding from August 31 to September 15.
July 7, has been set aside by the federation for the opening of the camp in Buffalo, USA while there will be friendly games on July 20 and 22 against Dominican Republic and on July 26, a game between ex-NBA and Euro All Stars will end the first phase of the team’s camping.
Oyedeji, who captained the team to a historic Afrobasket win in Tunisia in 2015, said having 44 players with just two months to the competition is questionable and does not speak well about the technical capabilities of the team’s backroom staff.
“Looking at it, you have less than two months to prepare and you have a list of 44 players; that is very questionable.
“It is either you want to go there for a jamboree or you are just putting down the names. For me, dropping 44 names at this time is making me doubt the technical capabilities of the coaches.”
With the first phase of camping set to resume on July 7, Olumide believes that the five home-based players in the team will not even leave the shores of the country.
“In the 44-man list, there are five home-based players and they are expected to be camped from July 7, we are not really sure they want them to be part of the team. Have they procured their visas? That is programming them to fail. When are they going to join up with the rest of the team?”
The second phase of camping as revealed by the federation will begin on July 29 with invited NBA players expected to join up with the rest of the team on August 5.
The team will depart for Toronto, where they are expected to play the Canada on August 10, while the final list for the World Cup is expected to be released on August 12.
The team are expected to depart for China on August 12.