D’Tigress captain, Adaora Elonu, says contrary to insinuations that the players of the women’s national basketball team insisted on playing under a particular president of the factionalised Nigeria Basketball Federation, the team never did.
She stated this while reacting to the Federal Government’s ban on international basketball competitions for two years, adding that the move could have “disastrous” consequences on the game.
“We do not agree to the ban, we did not expect this, we did not see this coming. We recently qualified for the World Cup in February. It took a lot of efforts from so many different people, not just the players, the staff, everyone that helps us prepare,” Elonu said.
“The Nigerian women’s basketball team never said we would not play under any president. It’s a little disappointing for us because that’s not a narrative that we created. We’re pretty open about what we feel, and we never said anything to that extent.
“We want the ban to be reversed, we want to be able to play, we want Nigeria basketball to remain a strong contender in the world,” Elonu said.
“We’re not only strong in Africa, we’re strong globally, so, to take that away, even for two years, which could possibly be more, could be very disastrous for us as a nation.”
On the resolution of the crisis that has rocked the NBBF for over a decade, Elonu added, “We think there are different ways the situation can be handled while allowing for the development in the local league, grassroots, as well as international competitions.
“We think all three of those can be handled accordingly, separately yet united. It doesn’t have to be ‘let’s pick one over the other.’ No player should have to suffer. We want to play, this is something that’s very important for all players, not just the ones who are in international competitions. If we want to really improve the level of basketball, it’s on all levels, not just one.”