07 August 2012

Nigeria: Bakare Quits National Team Job

National basketball coach, Ayodele Bakare has decided to step aside as the head coach of the national male basketball team. He is however yet to table or discuss the issue officially with his employers, the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
Bakare broke the news yesterday at a post-match press conference at the Basketball Arena after D'Tigers ended their Olympics Games contest with only a win against fellow Africans Tunisia after playing four matches. D'Tigers lost to France yesterday 73-79 points. It was Nigeria's last group game and could not have qualified the team for the quarter final had it won because Lithuania joined USA and Argentina to progress from the group. When asked on the way forward especially ahead next year's African championship, he said: "I think I am stepping down from national teams assignment. My resolve to step down are for two reasons. First, I have been fortunate to be the first Nigerian coach to take this team to an African championship and second, I am also the first coach to take the men's team to an Olympics. I want to say that l have seen it all as a coach. Nigeria has won eight championships and l have been privileged to win seven out of the eight as a coach
I want to go back home and have a deep reflection within the next 30 days and take a decision. This may be my last national assignment."
He said he is leaving also because the basketball terrain in Nigeria is too politicised. "The basketball terrain in Nigeria is too politicised and it is difficult to succeed because of too many distractions. There are distractions which go with the job"
The gold medal winner in All Africa Games in Maputo however said he will miss his players. "I love my players and they love me. But this is not about them. This is about the way forward for me. Nigeria basketball does not need me anymore like before and l don't think they will miss me. There are better coaches out there." He said.

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