*As Evelyn Akhator heads to Dynamo Novosibirsk in Russia
Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board is excited about the prospect of watching another Nigerian in the National Basketball Association (NBA) soon after Ikenna Iroegbu was recently signed by the LA Clippers Basketball franchise ahead of the 2017/2018 season.
Iroegbu was signed on Friday, 13th of October by Ontario-based Agua Caliente Clippers ahead of the new G-League which starts in November.
The board led by Engineer Musa Kida said the latest development will see the player who spent the last four years with Washington State become a more mature player for the senior national team.
“For a young talent to train in a world class facility, interact with quality players such as Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and Miloš Teodosić and other competitive players will not only accelerate his development but boost his confidence.
This is no mean feat coming few weeks after he made his international debut at the 2017 FIBA Africa Basketball championship where he averaged 14.5points, 5 assists and 4.5 rebounds per game.”
Kida believes the recent move of Iroegbu who was voted as one of the starting 5 players of the tournament in Tunisia calls for celebration because of the endless possibilities the opportunity portends for the player and the nation.
“Now, with more players stepping up, the coaches and Technical Committee of the NBBF will have a very difficult task of picking from the pool of available players for national duties.”
The ecstatic NBBF president promised that the technical department of the federation will continue to monitor the progress of all its players (men and women) eligible to play for Nigeria both home and abroad.
“Apart from monitoring them, the federation will do everything possible to provide the needed platform for all our players to ensure they succeed in their career. They should be rest assured of our unwavering support at the federation level whenever they need us to stand up for them.”
In a related development, a member of the D’Tigress gold medal winning team at the 2017 Afrobasket women tournament in Mali, Evelyn Akhator has also completed a move to Dynamo Novosibirsk in the Russian Women’s Basketball Premier League for the winter season.
Akhator who is currently in the books of Dallas Wings in the Women National Basketball League (WNBA) was the leading scorer and rebounder for D’Tigress at the Afrobasket where she missed out of the Most Valuable Player Award by whiskers to the eventual winner Astou Traore of Senegal.