By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF has confirmed Brooklyn Nets player’s interest to switch nationality from the United States of America (USA) to Nigeria and his eligibility to play for D’Tigers ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympics slated for 2021.
Ahead of a busy 2021 and 2022 international calendar, the Nigerian Basketball Federation is becoming the most sort after federation thanks to her rising profile in a global basketball family with interests from many players wanting to play for Nigeria ahead of the Olympics.
Reacting amidst news reports that Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie is interested in playing for D’Tigers in next year’s Summer Olympics, the NBBF made it clear that eligible players around the world capable of improving the team will be given a chance.
The federation president, Engr Musa Kida is quite happy with the renewed interest of Nigerian players within the National Basketball Association, NBA and National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA player’s interest in committing their international future to Nigeria.
“This is a good time to be alive as a Nigerian basketball fan. The newfound fame in the world has started yielding the desired results. Gone were the days when even kids playing at the collegiate system avoided our teams like a plague.”
“We have lost many good players in the past, but now things are looking up. Top-rated players have started reaching out to the federation. We will consider each player including the likes Dinwiddie on case by case basis in accordance with FIBA rules as provided for under Chapter 3, article 21(a).
The FIBA rule stated that national teams participating in a Competition of FIBA may have only one player on its team who has acquired the legal nationality of that country by naturalization or by any other means after having reached the age of 16.
“There are many top players out there who are eligible to play for us while some may also be thinking of naturalization as allowed by FIBA rules”, Kida continued.
The NBBF President informed that the Technical crew is looking at players who will add something extra to the teams ahead of the Summer Olympics.
“While at the World Cup in China, the coaches and many Nigerians noticed that we needed more tested hands to improve the team.“ He concluded.
Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be the first Olympic games where Nigeria Will two basketball teams at the Olympics with the qualification of both the men and women basketball team for the global sports competition.
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