25 August 2012

Nigeria: Winning Nations Cup is Hard Work - Ahmedu

Proprietor Dodan Warriors basketball club of Lagos, Col Sam Ahmedu (retd)has warned basketball authorities and the Nigerian national basketball team just back from the Olympics not to be carried away by the exploits of playing in the games to mean it can win the next Nations Cup.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP WEEKEND SPORTS, he said the Olympics is a different ball game from the African championship. "Angola, Tunisia and host Cote d'Ivoire will be a force and we must not write them off. That we qualified for the Olympics does not mean that we will stroll to pick the African title. We must work hard, get proper and work as a team.
Olympics is a different stage and the African championship is completely a different ball game. We have room to be the best but we must work hard and all hands must be on deck because there are no short cuts. And are we ready to play the politics? We need more people in the international bodies."
The FIBA Africa committee member warned that Angola which did not qualify for the Olympics is still a force in the continent.
"Angola did not qualify for the Olympics but still ahead of Nigeria in the world ranking although Nigeria has leapt from 21 to 17.
Angola is 15th on the ranking, so we must be wary of them and prepare well especially now that everyone knows us. Tunisia, current African champions are still there with all their home grown players who have commitment with their federations.
Because they are all at home it will be easy for their federation to stop the league and concentrate on the players for the national assignment, but the bulk of our players are not ours which means we will bank on crash programme."
He said because of the dynamics of the situation, he will recommend emphasis on foreign players with few local boys because every time we have done well was when they were combined effectively.

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