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Afrobasket 2015: NBA winner Ezeli wants to play for Nigeria - Jun 18, 2015


POSTED BY:
OLUSEGUN IKUESAN
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Festus Ezeli
Former coach of the national basketball team, D'Tigers, Sani Ahmed, has said 2015 NBA winner, Festus Ezeli of Golden Gate Warriors, has shown interest in playing for Nigeria and urged the Nigeria Basketball Federation to expedite efforts to get him.

The Nigerian NBA star helped Golden Gate Warriors beat Lebron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game-6 of the NBA finals to win their first NBA title in 40 years.

Ahmed, who led D'Tigers to qualify for the 2015 Afrobasket, told our correspondent on Wednesday that getting Ezeli to join the Nigerian team will greatly boost the morale of the national team players and improve the country's chances of wining the African title for the first time in sixteen ppearances.

He said, 'I'm happy that the team that won the NBA title has Nigerians. We need them in D'Tigers. The moves to get NBA players, who are Nigerians to play for the country is still on course. I've been in contact with all of them. Ezeli's agent is also a Nigerian; that is Ugo Udueze of BDA Sports Agency. They are always in support of what we are doing.

'Ezeli has already shown interest in playing for Nigeria. He doesn't need anybody to push him. It will be great if we can make all the arrangements to get him for D'Tigers especially now that he has won the NBA title. His inclusion will really boost the morale of the team.'

The other Nigerian in the Warriors, Andre Iguodala, who was the NBA finals' Most Valuable Player, had chosen to play for the US.

However, Ahmed said Iguodala can still change nationality and play for Nigeria if he wants to.

He added that getting Ezeli and other Nigerian NBA players to join D'Tigers now depends on the NBBF.

'Right now we have to wait for the NBBF to announce what their plans are before we know what steps to take. It all depends on the NBBF now. You know there is currently no coach for the team,' he said.

Ahmed, who re-applied for the job of coaching the D'Tigers when it was thrown open by the NBBF earlier this year, said he has yet to hear from the federation regarding the possibility of reclaiming the coaching job.

Courtesy: Punch.com Festus Ezeli (211-C-89, college: Vanderbilt)   



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African Championships Standings
Group A
 1. Nigeria 2-1 
 2. DRCongo 2-1 
 3. Mali 2-1 
 4. Ivory Coast 0-3 
Group B
 1. Morocco 3-0 
 2. Angola 2-1 
 3. C.Africa 1-2 
 4. Uganda 0-3 
Group C
 1. Tunisia 3-0 
 2. Cameroon 2-1 
 3. Rwanda 1-2 
 4. Guinea 0-3 
Group D
 1. Senegal 3-0 
 2. Egypt 2-1 
 3. Mozambique 1-2 
 4. S.Africa 0-3 
Stats Leaders
Points Per Game
 Ikechukwu DIOGU
  NGR
  (204-C/F-83)
  Avg: 22
 1. Diogu, NGR22.0 
 2. Benoit, CMR21.8 
 3. Djambo, MLI17.0 
 4. Kante, MLI15.3 
 5. Odoch Opong, UGA15.3 
 6. Adala-Moto, CMR15.0 
 7. Kabasele, COD14.8 
 8. Iroegbu, NGR14.8 
 9. Conde, GUI14.7 
 10. Kabangu, RWA14.7 
Rebounds Per Game
 Makram BEN ROMDHANE
  TUN
  (204-PF-89)
  Avg: 10.5
 1. Ben-Romdhane, TUN10.5 
 2. Benoit, CMR9.3 
 3. Diogu, NGR8.7 
 4. Sidibe, MLI8.3 
 5. Djimrabaye, CAF7.3 
 6. Adala-Moto, CMR7.0 
 7. Shonganya, COD6.8 
 8. Dieng, SEN6.8 
 9. Bamba, IVO6.7 
 10. Akindele, NGR6.7 
Assists Per Game
 Ike IROEGBU
  NGR
  (188-G-95)
  Avg: 5
 1. Iroegbu, NGR5.0 
 2. Kabongo, COD4.8 
 3. Toti, IVO4.7 
 4. Hannah, SEN4.3 
 5. Gasana, RWA4.0 
 6. El-Mabrouk, TUN3.8 
 7. Niang, SEN3.5 
 8. Enabu, UGA3.0 
 9. El Gamal, EGY3.0 
 10. Njoya, CMR3.0 
Steals Per Game
 Mahamadou KANTE
  MLI
  (192-G-92)
  Avg: 3.3
 1. Kante, MLI3.3 
 2. Gasana, RWA3.0 
 3. Kabongo, COD2.8 
 4. Benoit, CMR2.0 
 5. Cipriano, ANG2.0 
 6. Sidibe, MLI2.0 
 7. Mbamalu, NGR1.8 
 8. Bamba, IVO1.7 
 9. Diabate, IVO1.7 
 10. Conde, GUI1.7 
Blocks Per Game
 Herve KABASELE
  (208-C-96)
  Avg: 2.8
 1. Kabasele, COD2.8 
 2. Kambuy, COD2.5 
 3. Sidibe, MLI1.0 
 4. Diallo, GUI1.0 
 5. NDiaye, SEN1.0 
 6. Akindele, NGR0.8 
 7. Najah, MOR0.8 
 8. Choua, MOR0.8 
 9. Ndoye, SEN0.8 
 10. Prinsloo, RSA0.7 
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