To ensure that Nigeria's senior basketball team, D' Tigers qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after making their debut at the London Olympics Games, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) said it has began preparation for the quadrennial events. NBBF president, Tijani Umar disclosed while reviewing last year activities of the federation during their 2013 AGM.
He said a four year road map programme has been worked out to steer the team preparation. "In the same manner we prepared and implemented a road map for our Olympics qualification in 2012, work has reached an advanced stage on our four year strategic plan (2013-2016) which we will deploy shortly," he said.
To give the plan a desired mileage, he said the federation has unveiled its functional website that will give insight as to how the final product will look like when activated and placed in public domain in month's time. "When that happens, everyone will be in a position to see what we are doing, how we are doing, what the criteria is and what the outcome is likely to be. In short, our mission, vision and strategy will be at your disposal to scrutinize and objectively critize."
He said the achievement of the men's basketball team in the year 2012 has given them a unique opportunity to demonstrate the potential of Nigerian basketball to be continental and world class programmes. "After taking the world by storm in Venezuela and struggling with injuries to beat the African champion, Tunisia in the London Olympics, the mission of the team at the African Championship (Afrobasket 2013) in Cote D'Ivoire in August is no longer lost on anyone.
"Preparations in that direction have gone far. Training camp venues are already being finalised, players contact to obtain commitment, player monitoring, opponent scout, training programme and attachment for team staff and other national team coaches, as well as player insurance negotiations are taking place at the moment," he stated.
According to him, the team has already been invited to the Stankovic Continental championship, scheduled to hold in China in July. He said other key invitational tournaments are also be consider for the team ahead of August African basketball showpiece.