20 June 2006

NIGERIA : Presidential visit

The Nigerian national basketball camp that opened by the weekend in the United States of America will get a high class visit this week in the person of the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and as well as the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service Mr. Jacob Buba Gyang. The NBBF President is expected to jet out today to the USA where he would visit the players in their Dallas camp.

"I have said it and I stand by it that we (Nigeria) are not going there (Japan 2006) just to make the numbers. We are going there to play good basketball and make a statement to the world. We are preparing well and our desire is get there and make Nigerians proud," he said.

Buba’s visit is to ensure that everything is properly in place for the camp while giving a moral boost to the players checked into Dallas by Saturday for the first phase of the camp, which has been divided into different stages. The top basketball official in Nigeria said that he would everything within his powers to ensure the men would do well just as similar quality treatment would be given to the preparations of the female team would be in Brazil by September for women version of the FIBA World Cup.

By the arrangement, the national team best known as The Tigers are billed to camp in Dallas for two weeks before going into the second part by July 8th to 24th in Las Vegas. They will move over to Turkey three days after for a five-nation tournament in Ankara and will then return to Dallas where the preparations will be completed before the onward flight to Japan.

The national team similarly began their camping to the African Cup held in Algeria last August in the USA before a completion process in Abuja enroute to Algiers. The men won the third African ticket while the Lady Tigers beat the whole of the African continent to the number one spot last December in Abuja.

The Nigerian Tigers will be in Japan for 2006 FIBA World Championship for Men, which will begin by August 19th with Sam Vincent as coach of the team

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