Despite missing out on the final roster to the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket Championship and the World Cup Qualifiers, D’Tigers forward Musa Usman is ready to give his all when the XXI Commonwealth Games begins in Australia.
Usman was shortlisted for the 2017 Afrobasket co-hosted by Tunisia and Senegal and the World Cup Qualifiers in February but didn’t make the final cut.
The Mark Mentors forward has now made the final roster to the 2018 Commonwealth Games alongside 5 other home based D’Tigers. Kano Pillars trio Azuoma Dike, Abdul Yahaya and Eli Abraham, Gombe Bulls duo of Yakubu Sylvanus Istifanus and Abdulwahab Yakubu. Dike and Yahaya were the only home based players in the silver winning squad.
The former Royal Hoopers (now Rivers Hoopers) star told ACLSports he should be blamed for not making the D’Tigers team in the last two competitions.
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“I won’t see my inclusion in the Commonwealth Games as compensation for missing out on the last two competitions I think I was not just prepared for it,” he said
“It is a lovely opportunity to represent my country. This is my first time going to the Games and I am confident it will be a great outing.”
2017 was a remarkable year for Nigeria Basketball both in the male and female national teams. Despite poor preparation, the D’Tigers finished second in Tunisia while the D’Tigress won the Afrobasket in Mali after 12 years.
Usman thinks D’Tigers will surmount every hurdle in Australia.
“As we all know Nigeria Basketball have been pulling a lot of surprises. We will still be on top when Games begin next week. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy but we are going to surprise everyone.”
Nigeria’s first game will be against New Zealand on Friday, April 6th.
Nigeria is in Group B alongside host- Australia, New Zealand and Canada.