NIGERIA’S national men basketball team D’Tigers will this afternoon begin their campaign in the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 Qualifiers as they take on South Sudan in Group D of the competition.
The Mike Brown-tutored side will be hoping to use the tie against South Sudan coached by the country’s Basketball Federation (SSBF) President Luol Deng.
Already, the Nigerian side is considered favourite to top the group based on their global rating but the South Sudan side which replaced Algeria after the North African nation withdrew from the tournament will be relying on the technical know-how of Deng, a former Chicago Bulls forward, who has taken matters into his own hands to coach the team in the Rwandan capital Kigali.
The former Chicago Bulls forward has his work cut out as the world’s youngest sovereign state looks to find a place at the high table of African basketball.
“Sometimes, we forget that he is a global superstar. Today, we were reminded when after our friendly game against Kenya, two guys ran up to him to take a photo,” said Kuany Kuany, one of South Sudan’s three co-captains.