Oderah Chidom has announced her exit from the female national basketball team, D’Tigress, citing lack of professionalism.
According to ESPN, the 2021 AfroBasket winner said the decision of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to invite players for open tryouts ahead of the 2023 AfroBasket was below the “standards of how I conduct business at the professional level”.
The new D’Tigress coach Rena Wakama who was appointed June 30, had invited players for open tryouts in Chicago, Lagos and Abuja between July 8 and 11.
“The trigger for me was seeing an Instagram post of open tryouts in three different locations three weeks before Afrobasket,” the 27-year-old Chidom told ESPN.
“I will not be attending. I don’t think that’s professional at all. I consider myself a professional. And I don’t think it’s okay for me to pay my way to try out for something when I think I have a resume that speaks for itself.
“I have standards of how I conduct business at the professional level, and Nigeria continues to disappoint me.
“This is a national team. Generally, what you do is you invite a group of professionals and you compete in a camp and then the 12 best at that camp get to compete on whatever team and that’s mostly how a national team is conducted.
“I was with my family when I got the message and I just was in shock. Playing for the national team is something that my family is proud of, that I am proud of as it holds a lot of weight for me, and the way that they conduct themselves is taking all of that away from us. It’s just so disheartening.
“I have been blessed to play with a lot of teams where I have seen professionalism from management, and I don’t see those same qualities within our own federation. So to continuously keep coming back to to a federation that I feel does not value me is not worth it.
“I am officially done with national team. I cannot continue to have this added stress in my life. As a team, we try to choose our words very carefully so we do not offend anyone on the federation.
“But personally, I’m done and my purpose of doing this is to shed light on the lack of professionalism within the federation and that it needs to change.
“It’s really difficult to not have any sense of communication, not have any sense of professionalism. All of our information comes from Twitter and social media.
“We never know what’s going on. We ask a lot of questions about just simple things of when camp is, where it will be held, who are the coaches, and we get responses like ‘please be patient’.
“Everything that we do is super last minute. The level of professionalism is just not up to par with the constant production that we produce.”
On if some of her other teammates are also set to boycott the AfroBasket , Chidom said, “We’re not boycotting anything. We weren’t even been invited. No-one’s communicating with us at all. So, it’s frustrating. Of course, I would love to continue to play for something that’s bigger than myself and represent my country.
“That means so much to me and my family. But the current federation, I just cannot continue to agree with the way they do business.
“A lot of us have all sent the post around. And pretty much all of us are disappointed and upset with the lack of communication.
“I genuinely don’t know what the other girls are intending to do, but I know that there’s a general sense of frustration and disappointment throughout the entire team, considering that no-one has spoken to us.”