Olympics: Sports Minister commends D’Tigers

The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has expressed joy and appreciation to the players and technical crew of Nigeria’s national men’s basketball team after the team’s campaign at the Olympic Games came to an end on Saturday.

“My thanks and appreciations go to the players and coaching staff of the D’Tigers,” said the Minister. “They represented Nigeria impressively and we thank them for their resilience, efforts, and their patriotic commitment.”

D’Tigers lost 80-71 to Italy to crash out of the men’s basketball event of the Tokyo Olympics but their performances before and during the Olympics give room for many to be optimistic about the future of the team led by United States-born coach Mike Brown.

D’Tigers comprised entirely of players making their debut at the Olympics, while some were participating in an international championship for the first time.

“They came and gave a good account of themselves to the world that Nigeria will compete amongst the best basketball nations,” continued the Minister. “And to Mike Brown and the coaching staff, thank you for building this team and your faith in the team.”

He added: “You have performed tremendously well and Nigerians thank you sincerely.”

In a similar vein, Musa Kidda, the caretaker president of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, has expressed his gratitude to the men’s national basketball team for representing Nigeria “very well” at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

D’Tigers, on Saturday, lost 80-71 to Italy to crash out of the men’s basketball event of the Tokyo Olympics.

They had lost earlier in the tournament to Australia and Germany, but the performance in general from D’Tigers, a team comprised entirely of players making their debut at the Olympics, gives cause to hope of greater things to come from the African champions.

“D’Tigers, it’s been such a long journey in such a short time,” began a message from the NBBF boss Kidda. “You have all done very well as athletes, coaches, and technical staff within the context of challenges we had to overcome.

“As President of NBBF, I would like to personally say thanks to all of you for representing your country Nigeria very well and assure you that Nigeria is proud of your efforts and staying power as a group.”

He added: “We need to stay together and continue building on what we have done here as African representatives. We shall definitely do better as we are stronger. Stay safe and strong guys.”

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