*Plan to host D’Tigress after the tournament
D’Tigress camp received an August visitor last weekend when Nigerian music sensation, Tiwa Savage, paid an unscheduled visit to the team at their Protea Hotel abode.
The visit of the musician which was facilitated by a board member and athletes’ representative of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Ejike Ugboaja was part of a welfare package put in place by the new NBBF board to motivate the team and aid their bonding ahead of the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament taking place in Mali.
It was unprecedented as it was the first time in the history of any basketball national team that a celebrity paid a visit to the team before an international competition.
Speaking during her visit, the Nigerian music star who is presently signed to Mavin Records took time to encourage the team to remain focused ahead of their FIBA assignment as they perfect plans to storm Mali in style and win the tournament.
“I am so elated that I had the opportunity to come here and associate with a team that has been getting some positive rating amongst sports loving Nigerians. As a major proponent of the girl/woman power, I so much believe in you to do Nigeria proud when you file out against other countries in Africa.”
Presently rated second in Africa, Tiwa Savage said she was glad to associate with the team which is being tipped by bookmakers to be a strong contender for the 2017 title.
She promised that a better arrangement will be made after the tournament to host the team irrespective of the result recorded at the championship.
“It’s really unfortunate that men are always enjoying a place of pride in Nigeria especially in the sports circle. I want to encourage and motivate you to go to Mali and prove a point and show Nigerians reasons why they should support you.”
She enjoined the team to see themselves as champions and ensure that they do everything possible to bring back the cup.
Responding on behalf of the team, Aisha Mohammed who was recently appointed the captain of the side described the visit as a pleasant surprise which they will relish for a long time to come.
Aisha who started her international career with the senior national team in 2001 said, “This visit has really given us another reason to want to bring the cup home at the end of the competition.
“This visit has clearly shown that we are appreciated by our fans and Nigerians home and abroad and we are desperate not to disappoint them. We want to repay their faith in us and the only way we can do that is to bring the cup back home.”
Since it was a training free day, the NBBF also organised a boat ride for the team led by Sam Vincent as they continue to bond on and off the court with few days to their opening game against Mozambique coming up on the 19th of August.