Nigeria will host eight other African Basketball teams in the pre-qualifiers in the journey to the Olympic Games in Paris.
The Federation International Basketball Association (FIBA), at the draws that took place in May, selected Nigeria as the host of the tournament.
The FIBA Pre-Olympics African Qualifier will be held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos from August 12 to August 20. The participating teams that will slug out for a coveted spot to represent the continent at the next Olympic Games are Senegal, Mali, Uganda, Congo Democratic Republic, Cameroun, Guinea, Tunisia, and host, Nigeria.
The teams are divided into two groups of four each with the top two teams in each group proceeding to the semi-finals. An African representative will emerge between the winners of both semi-final matches.
Currently ranked the first team in Africa, the Nigerian men’s Basketball team, D’Tigers has a high chance to be Africa’s representative at Paris 2024.
The team will be represented by 23 team members with some currently playing in the NBA, the world’s most rated Basketball league.
Speaking ahead of the tournament, the President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF), Dr. Engr. Ahmadu Musa Kida reaffirmed its commitment to a successful and hitch-free tournament with high expectations of great performance from Team Nigeria.
‘‘The opportunity to host the African Olympics Qualifier is a testament to our past hosting endeavors and the confidence of FIBA Africa in the NBBF. We are proud to showcase our country Nigeria, the beauty of Lagos, and the incredible talents of the D tigers to the world. We will continue to use our basketball to make Nigeria proud.”
The 9-day tourney will be broadcast live to an estimated 70 million viewers in more than 60 countries and is expected to attract more than 8,000 spectators. The tournament will also recognise icons who have contributed to the development of Basketball in Nigeria through the years including former players, and administrators.
Among the 40 teams in the pre-qualifying tournament stage, five teams – one each from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and two from Europe – will qualify for the final Olympic qualifying tournament in 2024. The Olympic Games will be held in Paris, France from July 26 to August 11.