Evelyn Akhator, the top player of Nigeria’s Senior Women Basketball team, D’Tigress, and American WNBA club, Dallas Wings, says early preparation can put Nigeria among the best four teams at the upcoming FIBA Women World Cup 2018 in Spain.
Akhator, in a News Agency of Nigeria interview, said better preparation will help the team to build on the success of its recent continental victory.
Akhator’s sterling performance helped D’Tigress win the Afrobasket championship in Mali in August and saw the team leapt to the fourth position in Africa and 34th in the world.
“I want us to be among the best four teams, we just need to keep working and start our training early enough in order to achieve that.
“The earlier the better for us to start. I don’t want to us prepare two weeks to the tournament. I want us to camp three months or four months to the tournament.
“That will help us come together, know each other better before the tournament. It is the World championship, everybody wants to be the best,” Akhator said.
When asked if three to four months of camping wasn’t on the extreme said, the power forward player said other nations have started preparing already.
“The USA (women) team, have started their training camp end of September, which is to tell you what the competition will look like if we don’t prepare well.”
She expressed optimism in the present board of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to live up to expectations in the bid to earn the team a global recognition.
The D’Tigers camped for only two weeks before setting out for the continental cup and returned unbeaten in all their eight matches including the final against Senegal.
Nigeria, along with 15 other nations, would compete in Spain for 2018 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.