It was a weekend of sports and entertainment at its best in Nigeria in over 15 years. Before now, the event that could match this was the All Africa Games which was hosted by Nigeria in Abuja in 2003 said one of the stakeholders in the Nigeria Basketball Federation. Nigeria has never hosted a basketball championship of this magnitude but the Ahmed Musa Kida led NBBF has made this happen in less than a year.

According to a FIBA official, “the branding outclassed any I have ever seen in Africa.” One basketball pundit said “We have never had this number of sponsors for an event.” This makes us to know that nothing is impossible as far as basketball event and lifestyle management, marketing, brand identity is concerned in Nigeria.

All these commendations and thumbs up were as a result of the incredible team at Continental Sports and Entertainment Company, the event managers of the FIBA World Cup Qualifiers, Lagos, Nigeria.

With a set stage, the Nigeria national basketball team, the D’Tigers stormed Lagos in grand style most of who were representing their country for the first time among whom were Nwora Jordan Ifeanyi, University of Louisville, USA; Braxton Jai Ogbueze of the University of Charlotte, USA;  Agada Caleb Apochi of Prat, Spain; Keith Sado Omoerah, Baerum basket, Norway. They were met by excited fans at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, welcoming them like Warriors from a victorious battle.

Before the tournament began, the D’Tigers had a 2-1 tune up games losing one and winning one against the Ivorian national team in Abidjan and defeating the Beninoise national team in Lagos.

The FIBA World Cup qualifiers started with the match against the Ugandan national team. The Ugandans started the game with what we call initial gragra in Nigeria. They led the D’Tigers in the first few minutes of the game with a couple points. But the D’Tigers took over the lead after that and never looked back. It was a blowout in the end as the D’Tigers defeated the Ugandans by 109-66 on day one. Next came Rwanda who had earlier defeated Mali the first day. Like Uganda, they also started with initial gragra but could not match the dexterity and experience of the D’Tigers who won the game by 111-70. On the last day of the tournament, the son of the head coach, Jordan Ifeanyi Nwora came out smoking like a wild fire and could not be quenched by the Malian fire-men. He had a tournament high of 36 points setting a new record for most points scored in a game at the FIBA World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers.

Nigeria moved on to the second round of the FIBA World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers with a 100%, 6-0 run remaining undefeated alongside defending African Champion Tunisia, in the first round of the tournament.