12 March 2007

NIGERIA : Coach Faults NBBF On J/Tigers

By Hassan Abdul

Nigeria junior national team assistant coach and Denver Nuggets director of scouting, Massai Ujuri, has lent an additional voice to the clamor for a better preparation for the junior national basketball team.
The team will be featuring at the All African Games and the Under-19 club championships in Serbia, both in July.He harped on the need for the members of the NBBF to put their heads together to solve the problems being encountered in getting the players ready for both events.

"I have not been too pleased with our attitude towards the preparation of the junior team especially with how good our team did in South Africa and the potential to make good strides at the world level. We have the youngsters.
"The camps we have put together the last 4 yrs have really developed a lot of kids. Now we must stay consistent and prepare the right way for such major tournaments," he added.
The former Nigeria international African players says, if only the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF and other stakehol-ders in the game in Nigeria could get its act together the sky will be the limit for the nation national teams.
Speaking on the need for a strong league, Masai said:
"I think the one thing that provides for strong national teams is a strong local league. I am really disappointed with the inconsistency and lack of a league. There is no excuse for not having one and I don't think sponsorship should even be close to being an issue," he said.
He however believed they had good chances in Serbia."We have an exciting team like you saw in South Africa. They play so hard and give it their all. The key is having a good point guards and solid inside presence. With Orseer Ikyator, Daniel Daudu and Michael Ohiero Coach Adeka and I are very confident with the point guard position.
"With Solomon Alabi in the middle and Emmanuel Negedu we will definitely have good inside play. I also think Nosa Omeregbe and Ibrahim Yusuf are developing into strong wing players. Then we have superb role players like Abel Baraya, Omori Mbaram and George Ehiagwina who compliment very well.
"If we prepare well, the kids have a great attitude and winning mentality. I am really confident that we will do well. But everyone has to play their part," he concluded.

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