Losing the 2017 Sports Woman of the year award at the Nigerian Sports Awards propelled Evelyn Akhator to work hard. This eventually paid off as she emerged the 2018 Sports Woman of the year ahead of World Silver medallist in Wrestling, Odunayo Adekuroye and Bobsledder Simidele Adeagbo.
The Sports Man/Woman of the year award is the most prestigious at the annual Nigerian Sports Awards in Lagos.
2018 can be described as the most successful so far in Akhator’s career as she led the D’Tigress to the Quarter-finals of the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Tenerife, Spain which she recorded 4 double-double in 7 games for Nigeria.
Ranked number 12 at the World Cup, she averaged 29.4MPG, 12.6 PPG and 68.6 % FT.
Akhator also didn’t fail to get a double-double at the awards held on Saturday. She was awarded the best basketball player and the Sports Woman of the year.
The D’Tigress star told ACLSports.com she finally got her desired award.
“Winning off the court like on the court is a great feeling, no one wants to lose. I am thankful to God for the opportunity he gave me. Last year, I won the ball person of the year but I wanted that Sports Woman of the year. I am thankful to God that I didn’t go to sleep. I hate that I didn’t win last year but at the same time it was a motivation for me. The girl who won it last year is a good wrestler (Adekuoroye). One thing I love is competition it helps ensure that I achieve,” she said
D’Tigress won the team of the year award but coach of the side, Otis Hughley missed out on the coach of the year award to Para- Sports coach, Are Feyisetan.
Akhator still regards Hughley as a winner despite losing the coach of the year category.
“I was really rooting for Coach Otis but he is still a winner. He came in few weeks to the World Cup and did amazing things whether he wins the award or not he is a winner.”
“I am happy my team got the award. We won it last year, this year and hopefully we will get it next year too.”
Akhator explained the need for the African champions to consolidate on their outing in Tenerife Spain at the Afrobasket next year.
“Senegal would want to beat us so we need to keep pushing and go steps ahead of them and not go to rest now. A lot of us are pros playing abroad but during our off season we need to keep working and not go to sleep.”