D’Tigress duo, Dominique Wilson and Aisha Mohammed are both optimistic of the team’s chances at the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain this month.
African champions Nigeria will play Australia, Argentina and Turkey in Group D when the tournament begins September 22 in Tenerife.
ACLSports spoke to the pair after their training session at the Molade Okoya Hall, Teslim Balogun Stadium.
“I am expecting we give 100% in all of our games. Everyone on the team is skilled we want to give our best but it comes down to who is going to give the biggest effort,” said Wilson.
The American who is set to play her competitive game for Nigeria, said her biggest challenge is adaptation.
“I am beginning to know everyone and try to pick up the plays quickly. In the US, I could go home because my parents live in Atlanta. I am familiar with the environment there and not here. The gym is a little bit different but we are trying not to make excuses. My biggest challenge is not the environment but learning how everyone plays.”
Mohammed on the other hand said her challenge is the difference in climate.
“The climate is different from what we have in Atlanta. Here it is hot but over there it’s not and easy for us to adapt but we are getting used to it.”
The former D’Tigress captain who is a long-serving member of the team since 2003, compared players between then and now.
“Most of us right now are pro players but back then it was mixed, 6 league players and 6 American-based players. We have more talented players now, young with more speed and mentality.”
Mohammed said the team will be up for the task when they come against top players in the world.
“We have a lot of talent and most of our players play in Europe and play against these top players so yes I am optimistic about our chances.
“We will make Nigeria proud and the Continent. We are trying to change the history of basketball in Africa,” she added
Additional Reporting – Izu Akawor