In a move aimed at revitalising the Nigeria Women’s Basketball team, D’Tigress, the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has announced the appointment of Coach Rena Wakama as the new Head Coach.
The contract, officially disclosed on Friday, 30 June, is initially for two years.
According to the NBBF, the choice of Wakama was well-thought-out as she will bring her wealth of experience, having previously represented Nigeria as a national team player.
“Wakama was a 4-year letterman at the University of Western Carolina and played professional basketball in the United Kingdom, in addition to playing for the Senior Nigerian National Team.
“Wakama received a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Western Carolina in 2014 and an MBA from Manhattan in 2019.” the NBBF wrote.
Currently serving as an Assistant Coach at Stony Brooks University in the United States, she has honed her coaching skills while contributing to developing young talents in the basketball powerhouse.
The newly appointed D’Tigress Head Coach, who hails from Rivers State. South-South, Nigeria, holds a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Western Carolina, which she obtained in 2014, and an MBA from Manhattan, completed in 2019.
Wakama has an enormous task in her hands as she steps into the big shoes of erstwhile coach Otis Hughley who oversaw a glorious phase of D’Tigress.
D’Tigress are the reigning African champion, having conquered the continent consecutively in 2017.2019 and 2021.
Notably, they reached the quarter-final stage of the FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain, defeating renowned basketball powerhouses along the way.
Wakama’s first task involves rebuilding a team marred by political upheaval surrounding the federation’s elections in 2022.
This crisis ultimately led to Nigeria’s withdrawal from the last World Cup in Australia, a decision that shocked the sporting community.
Emotionally fragile after the events surrounding their exclusion, D’Tigress will require a skilled and tactful coach to guide them back to their former glory.
With the African Cup scheduled in Rwanda in July, Wakama will immediately focus on successfully defending the title.
The tournament will serve as a crucial test for both the coach and the team, offering an opportunity to showcase their resilience and determination to reclaim their rightful place among the elite in African women’s basketball.
As Rena Wakama takes the reins of D’Tigress, Nigerian basketball enthusiasts eagerly anticipate witnessing the team’s resurgence under her guidance.
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