By Babatunde Ogunrinde
D’Tigers Nigeria’s basketball team to the Tokyo Olympics Games believe they have had morale boosters in the run-up to the event, after beating USA and Argentina in friendlies.
D’ Tigers centre, Jahlil Okafor said the wins were a morale booster for the team. While U.S. are ranked No.1, Argentina are 4th.
Okafor of the Detroit Pistons of the US made his debut against Argentina on Monday after missing the game against USA.
Okafor scored 15 points and had seven rebounds, with the team beating the Argentines by 94 – 71 points.
“It gives all of us the confidence to go out there and perform at a high level just like we did against USA and Argentina”, Okafor said.
Okafor said that it had been fun working with a set of talented Nigerians, who are keen to daily build something that Nigerians at home and abroad would be proud of.
On how he was able to make an impact for the team during the friendly game against Argentina, Okafor said, “My team gives me all the confidence. They tell me to go out there and be aggressive, be myself and have fun.
“After the big win against USA and against Argentina, the message was to take care of business and avoid any let downs” Okafor said.
Based on the high team spirit, he said, the main objective of the players and coaching staff was to win at the Olympics.
Nigeria is grouped alongside Germany, Australia and Italy at the Olympics holding between July 25 to Aug.7, 2021