D’Tigers point guard, Ben Uzoh has expressed delight at the development of basketball in Nigeria since his debut with the national team five years ago.
The 2015 Afrobasket champion said coming home to see the level of acceptance during the 2019 FIBA World Cup qualifiers hosted in Lagos last month has raised his hopes.
“The culture is growing, obviously football has been around for years. For ages, we have been angling to have the game of basketball come up and carve out its own niche.”
Uzoh who plays in CB Caballero De Culican, Mexico said the turnout of fans during their training and games coupled with the media awareness was commendable.
“It’s great to see the support from the youths, the federation and hopefully in future, the government. It’s good to have events like this, a platform that can be emulated for years to come.
He emphasized that playing in the national team has had a great impact on him because it has been a journey that has involved a lot of growth and transition.
“Initially, when I joined the team I did not know the kind of coach involved or the tradition that was involved. I knew I could make an impact because I believed in myself. Over the years, I met brothers. I have gained brothers and family members.”
Since making his debut in 2013, Uzoh has gone to represent Nigeria in two FIBA Afrobasket Championships as well as participating at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He was also part of the 2015 Afrobasket winning team.