Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari will today at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting receive D’Tigress as a mark of recognition to the team for clinching the 2017 AfroBasket Championship in Mali.
The team arrived Abuja on Tuesday two days after they defeated Senegal 65-48 in Bamako, to clinch their third AfroBasket Championship.
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, said the presidential reception is a demonstration of Buhari’s passion for sports development.
Team Captain, Alisha Mohammed and President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Musa Kida, presented the trophy to Dalung last night at a reception at the National Stadium, Abuja.
The players presented a signed jersey to the minister as a token.
Dalung said the victory will inspire the team to greater heights at the FIBA Women’s World Basketball Championship in Spain next year.
He said the victory will justify the controversial sports reforms he introduced in June that produced a new board of the national sports federations.
“I am convinced that if we do the right things, we will always get the right results. This victory has paled the weight of criticism we faced,” Dalung said.
Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the team, assured that they would put in great efforts to excel in Spain.
A member of the victorious team, Nkechi Akachi, said the tournament was tough, particularly the semi final match against Mali, which Nigeria narrowly won by 48-47.
“It was a tough and demanding campaign. The semi final match against Mali could have gone either way. It was not easy when you are playing against the host team, the country, the referee and match commissioner. It was tough,” Akachi who was a member of the team that reached the semi final two years ago in Cameroon observed.