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Forty-one-year-old Awojobi targets comeback with Nigerian national team - May 27, 2015


POSTED BY:
OLUSEGUN IKUESAN
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When it comes to Nigeria basketball, Tunji Awojobi is a house-hold name at club level but especially with the national team as he was part of five of Nigeria's six podium appearances at AfroBasket.

Between 1995 and 2007, Awojobi represented the D'tigers, helping them to three second-places (1997, 1999 and 2003) and two third-places (1995 and 2005) in Africa's biggest basketball tournament and playing a prominent role in Nigeria's two FIBA Basketball World Cup campaigns (1998 and 2006).

After going into 'semi-retirement', the 41-year-old recently re-launched his career in Nigeria's domestic league with the Islanders basketball club.

Talking to FIBA.com, the 2.01m forward said he believes he can still play for the national team.

"With what I've seen of most of Nigeria's post players, I believe I still have something left to contribute to Nigeria, if the Nigerian Basketball Federation and the national team coaching crew can give me the opportunity and not look at my age," said the former Hapoel Jerusalem forward.

Awojobi played 31 minutes and grabbed 12 rebounds in a recent league game between the Islanders and Dodan Warriors, playing alongside AfroBasket 2013 Nigeria squad member Ben Uzoh.

"I am passionate about this game and that passion drove me back to the court," he explained.

I also want to prove a point that I can still make the national team. - Awojobi

"I have a willing management in Islanders basketball club who was ready to give me an opportunity to re-launch my career.

"I have seen the draws and without any doubt Nigeria has what it takes to win the trophy for the first time and gain qualification to the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

"What the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) should do is to give every player [an] opportunity to prove themselves at the tryout."

At AfroBasket 2015, Nigeria will play in Group A alongside host nation Tunisia, Uganda and Central Africa Republic (CAF).

FIBA.com  



History made as DR Congo qualify for FIBA AfroBasket 2017 - 5 days ago
Ten years on, and the Democratic Republic of Congo sealed their ticket to the FIBA AfroBasket on Monday thanks to a successful FIBA Africa Zone 4 Group E campaign against the Republic Central Africa (CAF). Despite Monday's 80-76 loss to CAF, the Congolese advanced to this year's FIBA AfroBasket in Brazzaville thanks to an 85-64 win on Sunday, ending a 10-year absence from the biggest basketball tournament on the African continent   [read more]
Egypt Qualifies to the Africa Basketball Championship 2017 - 5 days ago
Egypt attains victory and qualifies to the 29 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship, known as Afro-Basket 2017, to take place on August 19 to August 30 in Brazzaville, Congo. Qualifications for this prestigious event are divided to seven zones, and Egypt has been placed in the fifth zone. In a final match of the 2017 Afro Basket qualifier for zone five, Egypt outperformed its rival, Uganda, and scored 95-72. On March 18, Egypt competed against Uganda and qualified for the the Africa Basketb...   [read more]
Zone 1 qualifiers: Tunisia beat Algeria 87-77 - 8 days ago
Tunisia's basketball team defeated Algeria's 87-77 (first half: 42-32) at an AfroBasket 2017 Zone 1 day-3 qualifier played on Saturday in Algiers. Tunisia are topping ranking at the end of the first stage with 4 pts, ahead of Morocco (3 pts) and Algeria. Morocco had defeated Algeria 76-71 at day 1 while Tunisian secured wins over Morocco (79-67) and Algeria (87-77). Zone 1 qualifiers bring together three teams: Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia after the last-minute withdrawal of Libya. The se...   [read more]


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African Championships Standings
Group A
 1. Tunisia 3-0 
 2. Nigeria 2-1 
 3. C.Africa 1-2 
 4. Uganda 0-3 
Group B
 1. Senegal 3-0 
 2. Angola 2-1 
 3. Mozambique. 1-2 
 4. Morocco 0-3 
Group C
 1. Egypt 3-0 
 2. Cameroon 2-1 
 3. Mali 1-2 
 4. Gabon 0-3 
Group D
 1. Cape Verde. 3-0 
 2. Ivory Coas. 2-1 
 3. Algeria 1-2 
 4. Zimbabwe 0-3 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Gorgui DIENG
  SEN
  (211-C-90)
  Avg: 22.6
 1. Dieng, SEN22.6 
 2. Xavier, USA19.6 
 3. Matos, POR18.8 
 4. Diabate, IVO18.4 
 5. Kouguere, CGO18.0 
 6. Harath, ALG16.9 
 7. Oguchi, NGR16.6 
 8. Kourodu, MOR16.6 
 9. Mendy, SEN16.3 
 10. Zouita, MOR15.8 
Rebounds Per Game
 Gorgui DIENG
  SEN
  (211-C-90)
  Avg: 14.9
 1. Dieng, SEN14.9 
 2. Mascarenhas, CPV10.0 
 3. Lawal, NGR9.0 
 4. Chikoko, ZIM8.8 
 5. Almeida, CPV8.4 
 6. Marei, EGY8.4 
 7. Sebirumbi, USA7.8 
 8. Grebongo, CAF7.6 
 9. Aminu, NGR7.3 
 10. Ben Romdhane, TUN7.3 
Assists Per Game
 Xane DALMEIDA
  SEN
  (181-PG-83)
  Avg: 7.4
 1. Dalmeida, SEN7.4 
 2. Khalfi, MOR6.0 
 3. Diabate, IVO5.8 
 4. Almeida, CPV4.4 
 5. Xavier, USA4.0 
 6. Matos, MOZ3.8 
 7. Dieng, SEN3.7 
 8. Benzegala, USA3.7 
 9. Kamal, EGY3.4 
 10. Kante, MLI3.3 
Steals Per Game
 Destin DAMACHOUA
  CAF
  (185-G-86)
  Avg: 3.6
 1. Damachoua, CAF3.6 
 2. Essono Mve, GAB3.0 
 3. Diabate, IVO2.8 
 4. Matos, MOZ2.8 
 5. Almeida, CPV2.8 
 6. Amin, EGY2.4 
 7. Akanda-C., CAN2.4 
 8. Boundou, GAB2.0 
 9. Maturure, ZIM2.0 
 10. Harras, MOR2.0 
Blocks Per Game
 Vitalis CHIKOKO
  ZIM
  (207-F/C-91)
  Avg: 3.2
 1. Chikoko, ZIM3.2 
 2. Mejri, TUN2.5 
 3. Lasme, GAB1.8 
 4. Dieng, SEN1.3 
 5. Aminu, NGR1.3 
 6. Moreira, ANG1.3 
 7. Oraby, EGY1.3 
 8. Almeida, CPV1.2 
 9. Sene, SEN1.2 
 10. Mascarenhas, CPV1.2 
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