Basketball is one of the world’s most popular sports in the world. Little wonder, then, that Nigerians have showed a lot more interest in the game over the years and more players from the nation have since proved Nigeria a well of talents for basketball teams around the world.
The Nigeria senior men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, became Africa’s champions in the 2015 FIBA Africa Championships. However, they relinquished their title to Tunisia in the 2017 FIBA Africa Championships.
When It All Started
Basketball was invented in America in the 18th century, but reached Nigeria in the late 1950’s with one man in front of it all – Sir Walid Zabadne.
Sir Walid Zabadne is known as the “father of Nigerian basketball”. He taught the first interested young Nigerians how to play the game in the only basketball court in the country at the time located in the Syrian Club in Lagos.
Once the basketball federation in Nigeria was established, Zabadne would take these young players around Africa to various tournaments. He eventually became the president of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (Source: FIBA).
In 1964, The Nigeria Basketball Federation joined FIBA and in 1972 D’Tigers were 12th at the end of the FIBA Africa Championships staged in Dakar, Senegal.
FIBA Africa Championships
1978 FIBA Africa Championships Dakar, Senegal – 6th Position
1980 FIBA Africa Championships Rabat, Morocco – 11th position
1985 FIBA Africa Championships Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire – 7th positon
1987 FIBA Africa Championships Tunis, Tunisia – 8th Position
1995 FIBA Africa Championships Algiers, Algeria – 3rd position
1997 FIBA Africa Championships Dakar, Senegal – 2nd position
1999 FIBA Africa Championships Angola – 2nd position
2001 FIBA Africa Championships Casablanca, Morocco – 5th position
2003 FIBA Africa Championships Alexandria, Egypt – 2nd position
2005 FIBA Africa Championships Algeria – 3rd position
2007 FIBA Africa Championships Angola – 5th position
2009 FIBA Africa Championships Libya – 5ht position
2011 FIBA Africa Championships Antananarivo, Madagascar – 3rd position
2013 FIBA Africa Championships Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire – 7th position
2015 Afrobasket Rade’s Tunisia – 1st position
2017 FIBA Africa Championships Senegal/Tunisia – 2nd position
2012 Summer Olympic Games London, united Kingdom – 10th position
2016 Summer Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – 11th position
FIBA World Cup
1998 FIBA World Championships Athens, Greece – 13th position
2006 FIBA World Championships Japan – 14th position
D’Tigers defeated Uganda 109-66 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos on the 29th of June to book a spot in the final round of the FIBA World Cup African qualifiers.
The Nigeria senior men’s basketball team will be looking forward to retake their place as the best team in Africa when the tournament begins in on September 10th 2018.