By Babatunde Ogunrinde
Lagos July 13, 2021
As the 2020 Olympic Games draw nearer, D’ Tigers centre, Jahlil Okafor says the wins against USA and Argentina were a morale booster for the team.
Afolabi Oni, the media coordinator for the Nigeria Basketball Federations (NBBF), said this in a statement on Tuesday, quoting Okafor of the Detroit Pistons of the US as he debuted on the international stage with a bang, after missing the game against USA.
Okafor scored 15 points and had seven rebounds in his debut game for Nigeria on a night that D’ Tigers defeated Argentina, the number four ranked team with 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