Ike Diogu has been named in Nigeria’s roster for the first window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers.
Ike Diogu, the 38-year-old has been pivotal for D’Tigers, having captained the former African champions over the past decade.
However, when the D’Tigers rosters for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and AfroBasket 2021 were unveiled in July in August, Diogu’s name was the biggest absence.
In the build-up to the African Qualifiers, D’Tigers added Diogu and a number of players, who propelled Nigeria to a 10-2 mark in the African Qualifiers two years ago.
Ekenna Iroegbu, Jeleel Akindele, Chris Obekpa, Jordan Ogundiram, Ben Uzoh and Keith Omeorah – have all featured for Nigeria in the 2019 African Qualifiers that saw the West African nation secure one of five tickets for African teams for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.
The Nigerians head to the Angolan city of Benguela where they will take on Group A’s Cape Verde, Uganda and Mali.
It will be Nigeria’s first appearance at a major tournament since they finished twelfth at AfroBasket 2021 – their worst result – in the history of the tournament.
Meanwhile, former D’Tigers and NBA player Julius Nwosu has been handed the Nigerian coaching role for the first window of the African Qualifiers.
The 51-year-old, who featured for his country at two FIBA Basketball World Cups in 1998 and 2006 and helped his country to the Third-Place of AfroBasket 2005 in Algeria, is set to make to make his debut as Nigeria head coach.
Nwosu will become the fourth coach to lead Nigeria since 2015 when Will Voigt propelled Nigeria to their solo African title.
Other Nigeria head coaches over the past six years included Alex Nwora, Mfon Udofia and Mike Brown, an associate head coach with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
Nigeria will open their African Qualifiers campaign taking on Caper Verde on Friday, November 26.