LAGOS (FIBA AfroBasket 2017) – FIBA AfroBasket reigning champions Nigeria have appointed Alex Nwora as head coach, the country’s Basketball Federation (NBBF) announced on Wednesday.
Nwora replaces Will Voigt, who led Nigeria to their first-ever continental title two years ago in Tunisia.
Nigeria are expected to begin preparations to defend the African title on Friday, August 12th.
According to newly elected NBBF president Musa Kida, the decision to appoint Nwora who guided Cape Verde at the FIBA AfroBasket 2013 where they defeated D’Tigers 79-76 was borne out of the desire to give qualified Nigerians the opportunity of making history with the national teams.
“We started this project with the D’Tigress (Nigeria women’s national team), with the appointment of Sam Vincent, [former Nigerian international] Mfon Udoka, Peter Ahmedu and Okworogun Ochuko.
“There is no point of giving out national team jobs to expatriates when we have Nigerians all over the world who are duly qualified to get the job done,” Kida told Fiba.basketball.
He enjoined all Nigerians to support Nwora who is no stranger to the African basketball scene where he coached Cape Verde from 2009 to 2013.
Nwora will be assisted by Kwara Falcons head coach Aderemi Adewunmi and Gombe Bulls’ Abdulrahman Mohammed who have both guided their teams to the top of the [Nigeria] Atlantic and Savannah Conferences of the domestic basketball league.
It is expected that the provisional team would be announced in due course as the players are expected to open camp in a few days’ time.
Nigeria are drawn in Group A, which includes DR Congo, Mali and Cote d’Ivoire.
Reacting to his appointment, Nwora told FIBA.basketball that he is excited Nigeria have trusted him.
“I am not new to African basketball having worked with Cape Verde. Nigeria’s talent pool is enormous and I will do my best with my assistants to give a good account. As defending champions, the task is even more difficult because every team will come prepared to dethrone you.”