Okapi Aalstar of Belgium guard, Benjamin Uzoh believes that with a great mix of old and new players, Nigeria’s National basketball team, D'Tigers, will retain the Afrobasket championship title won in Tunisia in 2015 Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The 2017 Afrobasket Championship is billed to hold from the 8th to 16th September 2017 in Senegal and Tunisia.
Uzoh who played a pivotal role in the 2015 campaign, remains unfazed by the presence of Orlando Magic's Bismack Biyombo and Denver Nuggets' point guard Emmanuel Mudiay in the Congolese squad that will confront D'Tigers in the Group A of the tournament.
The 29 year old 6ft 3inch star explained to FIBA.com that the Nigerian team's goal is to retain the title won in Tunisia and gain more respect on the continent.
Nigeria will face Group A opponent, Cote d'Ivoire, in their opening game on the 8th of September before taking on Mali and DR Congo on the 9th and 10th respectively. The reigning champions will play all their group games in Tunis.
"It's a pretty interesting draw. There is a competitive balance in each group which makes things exciting in regards to when the knockout round begins," Uzoh told FIBA.com in an interview.
"Our chemistry with the group of guys we had in FIBA AfroBasket 2015 was undeniable. Hopefully, we can find a great mix of old and new players to accomplish another great feat for Nigeria.
"Every country poses a threat. Our respect extends not only to the countries in our group but also to those in the other groups. Nothing is given and everything must be taken and earned.
"Heading back to Tunisia is great in the sense of remembering what we accomplished as a group in 2015. Like any champion or title holder, our goal is to repeat history and continue to gain respect for basketball in Nigeria.
"It is pretty cool for Congo to have some of their best players available to represent their nation. It not only makes our group that much more competitive but shines a greater light on FIBA AfroBasket 2017 altogether."