The duo of Ben Uzoh and Mike Gbinije who played a vital role in the 2015 FIBA Afrobasket Tournament will make a return to the men`s senior team after missing the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Tournament. Their names were included in the 18 man provisional list released ahead of the first round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup African Qualifiers scheduled for Bamako, Mali later this month.
Seven players including two home based players were retained from DTigers` squad that won silver at last year`s Afrobasket tournament.
The full list is as follows;
1. Ikechukwu Ireogbu (Agua Caliente Clippers, USA)
2 Ike Nwamu (Sioux Falls Skyforce, USA)
3. Bryant Mbamalu (CD Vildivia, CHILE)
4. Ike Diogu (Schun Blue Whales, CHINA)
5. Ayodeji Akindele (Belediye Spor, TURKEY)
6. Eli Abraham (Kano Pillars, NIGERIA)
7. Abdulwahab Yakubu (Gombe Bulls, NIGERIA)
8. Musa Usman Mohammed (Mark Mentors, NIGERIA)
9. Ben Uzoh (unattached)
10. Michael Gbinijie (Santa Cruz Warriors, USA)
11. Ofoegbu Chima (unattached)
12. Ojo Michael Adetokunbo (Worcester Wolves, UK)
13. Mike Efevbeha (Sagesse, LEBANON)
14. Obi Emenago (Rouen Basket, FRANCE)
15. Omogbo Emmanuel (VL Pesaro, ITALY)
16. Nwogbo Lotana Afam (Sendai 89ers, JAPAN)
17. Talib Zanna (Ironi Nes-Ziona, ISRAEL)
18. Christopher Obekpa Ewaoche (Tranzaspor, TURKEY).
The foreign players will head straight to Bamako on the 19th where they will be joined by the home based players and officials from Nigeria.
The Head Coach of the men`s team, Alex Nwora believes the invited players have all it takes to advance to the second round of the African Qualifiers
`Active players in their clubs who are available have been invited to represent Nigeria. We have a very formidable team that I believe will sail through. FIBA World Cup Qualifying competition format has come with some set backs especially during the February window where countries are finding it tough to get all their key players with leagues across the world already in full swing`
Nigeria`s first game is against Uganda on Friday 23rd February.