First Bank Basketball Club top player Nkechi Akashili is the only Nigeria-based player that made the final roster for the FIBA Women World Cup, which begins in Tenerife, Spain on Saturday.
Other players who made the team are Jasmine Nwajei, Adaora Elonu, Sarah Imovbioh, Sarah Ogoke, Elo Edema, Evelyn Akhator, Aisha Mohammed, Ezinne Kalu, Atonye Nyingifa, Cecilia Okoye and Promise Amukamara.
Akashili and Nkem Akaraiwe (another home-based player) joined the D’Tigress in Spain ahead of the World Cup but it was only Akashile making the team.
Both players were part of the second phase of camping that took place in Lagos but were not included in the initial roster for the tournament.
NationSport gathered yesterday that Akashili replaced Uju Ugoka, whose passport is at the French Embassy while Akaraiwe role is not stated.
Ugoka had secured a contract with a French club and had submitted her passport to the embassy to get her entry visa and work permit. But with time running out and with no guarantee she would get her passport before the World Cup begins, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) replaced her with Akashili.
American Dominique Wilson also missed out as she is yet to get a Nigerian passport, which will qualify her to play for D’Tigers. The point and shooting guard will have to wait till next year if she still has the desire to play for the Nigerian team.
The Nigerian team will take on Australia in its opening game on Saturday and also have Turkey and Argentina to contend with in Group B.