D’Tigers invitee, Chima Moneke, is over the moon after being named in the 2021 FIBA Afrobasket 20-man provisional list.
In an interview with NBBF media, Moneke revealed that he got emotional and cried when he was contacted and invited by the federation to the squad.
The power forward, who plays for Orléans Loiret Basket in France, said it was difficult to control his emotions when he got called up.
“It was a very emotional moment. I cried when I got the call. I called all of my friends, the people that I love, the people who care about me and they were very proud of me and most importantly my parents. They cried, I cried. I knew they would get emotion because representing my country is probably more important to them than being in the NBA if I ever get the chance to do that.”
Moneke confessed that despite putting in the works, he never expected the invitation, which made it more amazing. “It was an amazing moment and I wasn’t expecting it and it made it sweeter.”
Speaking on his expectations of the national team setup, Moneke assured that with his deep knowledge about the team as a fan, fitting in will not be difficult.
“I have plenty of knowledge about the team. I am Nigerian through and through. I was born there and raised. My parents are Nigerians and all my brothers are Nigerians.
“Growing up, it was the Super Eagles but now, it is D’Tigers. I am familiar with almost all of the players. I have been watching every competition Nigeria has been in since I became serious about basketball. I follow the players and I know a few of them personally but I am familiar with most of their games because I am just a big basketball fan in general.”
D’Tigers are grouped alongside host, Rwanda, Mali and Algeria, who recently withdrew from the qualifiers taking place from November 27 to 29 in Kigali.