D’Tigress captain, Aisha Mohammed, and Evelyn Akhator have confirmed receiving the N1 million presidential reward promised them by Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
All 12 players in the D’Tigress squad to the 2017 AfroBasket for Women was paid N1m each for winning the championship in Mali, while the five technical crew members each got N500,00.
Both players (Mohammed and Akhator) in seperate reactions claim that the reward will spur the team to do better at the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain.
“I can confirm that we have received our money as promised when we went to present the trophy we won in Mali to Mr President. On behalf of the team, I will like to thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and the Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung for making this a reality,” Mohammed was quoted in a media statement from the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
“We must also not forget sports-loving Nigerians who were supporting us while we were battling to bring glory to our motherland.
“We believe that his Excellency will make funds available through the Ministry of Sports for adequate preparation. Like we have continued to maintain, we don’t intend to participate at the 2018 FIBA World Cup just to make up the numbers, we want to show the world that we can compete favourably with the best in the world.”
Dynamo Novosibirsk star Akhator also adds that the gesture will help sway Nigerian players making waves in leagues across Europe and America to come back home and represent their fatherland.
“I know that the NBBF is trying to talk to many Nigerian girls in the WNBA and also top leagues in Europe to beef up the team for the World Cup.” she said.
“The recent act by the government will in no small way play a role in convincing them to pledge their international future to Nigeria.”