Nigeria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has hailed the Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, for making history by becoming the first African nation to defeat the United States.
The minister said Nigeria’s team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in the history of the sport when they defeated three-time reigning Olympic champion and the number one-ranked team in the world, Team USA in a pre-Tokyo Olympics opener Sunday morning.
He said the team made Nigerians and the Federal Government proud and confident.
He said, “Every single player showed up for the game and collectively the team put up a ruthless execution of basketball skills. The team matched the highly-rated American team skill for skill, shot for shot, and in every department, the Nigerian team was on top of its game. Thank you, D’Tigers for again announcing Nigeria’s arrival on the basketball world with a bang.
“Nigeria and Nigerians are proud of you. As the Olympics games proper beckons in a few days we are confident in your skills and certain that you are up to the task. Just as we are sure of the female team, D’ Tigress.
“Having this morale-boosting performance on the eve of the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics is a positive signal that Team Nigeria will achieve podium finishes at the Games.”
Nigeria stunned the United States men’s basketball team 90-87 in a pre-Olympic exhibition game at Mandalay Bay Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The match-up serves as one of the tune-up games arranged by the Nigeria Basketball Federation for the team as they prepare for the 2020 Olympics where they’ll face Australia, Germany, and Italy in Group B.