The Nigeria Basketball Federation has announced a 15-man preliminary squad for the sixth and final window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers.
While most of the preselected players have featured for the D’Tigers since the qualifiers started in November 2017, Tonye Jekiri could make his debut for the former African champions and both Michael Umeh and Ekene Ibekwe could make a comeback for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics.
With a perfect nine wins in as many games in the World Cup Qualifiers, Nigeria became one of the first nations to qualify for this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
But before the Nigerians jet off to the far east, they will close their qualifying campaign in the Ivorian city of Abidjan from 22-24 February where they will go up against Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and the Central African Republic.
“We were the first countries in the world to qualify for the World Cup and it is very important that we start our preparation early,” head coach Alex Nwora is quoted as saying to the local media.
“The journey to get the team ready for the World Cup is a long one, but I am happy with the progress we have made so far.”
Nigeria will open their campaign in Abidjan against the host country on Friday 22 February.