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HISTORY OF BASKETBALL IN NIGERIA

HISTORY OF BASKETBALL IN NIGERIA

Basketball is one of the world’s most popular sports and its history –as a global sport –dates back to the United States of America where it was invented apparently in the 18th century. Besides being a popular sport, basketball is one of the highest-paying sports in the world and a good deal of its participants have appeared on the lists of richest sportsmen in the world over time. { History Of Basketball In Nigeria }.

Historical Background of Basketball in Nigeria

The history of basketball in Nigeria goes as far back as the late 1950’s when Walid Zabadne served as the first basketball coach to train Nigerians. At the time, Nigeria’s only basketball court was situated in the Syrian Club. Walid Zabadne continued teaching young Nigerians to become basketballers and when Nigeria’s basketball federation was organized, he took them to several basketball competitions across Africa. In view of his role as the pioneer of basketball in Nigeria, Walid Zabadne has been deemed “father of Nigerian basketball’’. Also worthy of note is that Zabadne was later made the president of the Nigerian basketball federation.

History Of Basketball In Nigeria

History Of Basketball In Nigeria

Development of Basketball in Nigeria

Since it began in Nigeria, basketball has developed tremendously and the current number of participants and basketball teams is a proof that it is one of the most cherished sports in Nigeria. Taking a look at its historical background, basketball began developing in Nigeria apparently in 1964 when the Nigerian national basketball team became a member of FIBA.

The Nigerian national basketball team boasts of talented players some of whom are professionals of Nigerian origin as well as recruited players from American college. Thanks to its combination of home-grown talents and American basketballers of Nigerian descent, Nigeria’s national basketball team has witnessed tremendous success. Dominated by Nigerian-Americans, Nigeria’s national basketball team secured a place in the 2006 FIBA World Championship. Meanwhile, this recorded Nigeria’s second qualification for the FIBA World Cup.

The Nigerian national basketball team that took part in 2009 FIBA AfroBasket tournament included eight US-born Nigerians. Another notable success enjoyed by the Nigerian national team was its qualification to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Nigeria’s Performance at the 2006 FIBA World Championship

The 2006 FIBA World Championship was held in Japan where Nigeria was placed in Group A with 5 others being Venezuela, Argentina, Serbia and Montenegro, Lebanon and France. The Nigerian national basketball team performed brilliantly, clinching the third spot of the Group. Having proceeded to the Round of 16, the team came up against Germany and were nearly defeated by the latter. At the end of the tournament, the team finished in the 14th place, clinching the same position as Serbia and Montenegro.

Nigeria’s Performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics

The 2012 Summer Olympics was held in London where Nigeria completed the group play with a 4-1 victory over Tunisia. This was the first Olympic game for the Nigerian national basketball team and it marked the team’s first-ever Olympic victory.

History Of Basketball In Nigeria D'Tigers

D’Tigers

Some Notable Nigerian Basketballers

A significant number of players in the Nigerian national basketball team have played for professional basketball teams in Europe or in the NBA. These successful basketballers include:

  1. Peter Aluma
  2. Gani Lawal
  3. Ekpe Udoh
  4. Festus Ezeli
  5. Ebi Ere
  6. Olumide Oyedeji
  7. Al-Farouq Aminu
  8. Ime Udoka
  9. Julius Nwosu
  10. Ike Diogu
  11. Michael Olowokandi
  12. Benjamin Eze
  13. Jeff Varem
  14. Obinna Ekezie
  15. Ekene Ibekwe
  16. Akin Akingbala
  17. Tunji Awajobi
  18. Alysius Anagonye

Nigerian Team at 2012 Summer Olympic Games

The Nigerian team at 2012 Summer Olympic Games –held in London –competed with 12 teams and finished in the 10th place. The team was headed by coach Ayo Bakare. The players in the team were;

  • Ejike Ugboaja
  • Ade Dagunduro
  • Olumide Oyedeji
  • Ike Diogu
  • Richard Oruche
  • Tonny Skin
  • Alade Aminu
  • Koko Archibong
  • Ekene Ibekwe
  • Chamberlain Oguchi
  • Al-Farouq Aminu
  • Derrick Obasohan

Nigerian Team at 2011 African Championship

The Nigerian team at 2011 African Championship competed with 16 teams and finished in the 3rd place. The team was headed by coach Ayo Bakare. The players in the team were;

  • Stanley Gumut
  • Ime Udoka
  • Ike Ofoegbu
  • Olumide Oyedeji
  • Solomon Tat
  • Jayson Obazuaye
  • Michael Umeh
  • Derrick Obasohan
  • Ababukar Usman
  • Ezenwa Ukeagu
  • Ejike Ugboaja
  • Chinedu Onyeuku

Nigerian Team at 2009 African Championship

The Nigerian team at 2009 African Championship competed with 16 teams  and finished in the 5th place. The team was headed by coach John Lucas II. The players in the team were;

  • Deji Akindele
  • Michael Umeh
  • Akin Akingbala
  • Jayson Obasuaye
  • Chamberlain Oguchi
  • Benson Egemonye
  • Ejike Ugboaja
  • Ebi Ere
  • Aloysius Anagonye
  • Gabe Muoneke
  • Michael Efevberha
  • Josh Akognon

Still On

Still On The Brief History Of Basketball In Nigeria

Nigeria’s Positions at Previous Basketball Tournaments

Tournaments Host Countries Nigeria’s Positions
FIBA Africa Championship 1965 Tunisia
2006 FIBA World Championship Japan 14
1998 FIBA World Championship Greece 13
2016 Summer Olympic Games Brazil 11
2012 Summer Olympic Games United Kingdom 10
FIBA Africa Championship 1970 Egypt
FIBA Africa Championship 1968 Morocco
FIBA Africa Championship 1972 Senegal 12
FIBA Africa Championship 1981 Somalia
FIBA Africa Championship 1975 Egypt
FIBA Africa Championship 1974 Central African Republic
FIBA Africa Championship 1980 Morocco 11
FIBA Africa  Championship 1978 Senegal 6
FIBA Africa Championship 1983 Egypt
FIBA Africa Championship 1989 Angola
FIBA Africa Championship 1992 Egypt 5
2003 African Games 2
FIBA Africa Championship 1985 Cote d’Ivoire 7
FIBA Africa Championship 1993 Kenya
2006 Commonwealth Games 4
1999 African Games 2
FIBA Africa Championship 1987 Tunisia 8
FIBA Africa Championship 1995 Algeria 3
1995 African Games 3
FIBA Africa Championship 1999 Angola 2
2007 African Games 3
FIBA Africa Championship 1997 Senegal 2
FIBA Africa Championship 2001 Morocco 5
2015 African Games 1
FIBA Africa Championship 2003 Egypt 2
FIBA Africa Championship 2007 Angola 5
FIBA Africa Championship 2005 Algeria 3
2011 African Games 3
FIBA Africa Championship 2011 Madagascar 3
FIBA Africa Championship 2009 Libya 5
AfroBasket 2017 Senegal/Tunisia 2
FIBA Africa Championship 2015 Tunisia 1
FIBA Africa Championship 2013 Cote d’Ivoire 7
2018 Commonwealth Games 6

That’s all about The History Of Basketball In Nigeria.

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Updated: May 8, 2018 — 3:00 am

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