D’Tigress guard Ezinne Kalu has tipped Nigeria to go farther than any African side has even done in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
The 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup will be held in Tenerife, Spain from 22 September to 30 September with Nigeria playing Australia, Turkey, and Argentina in Group B.
Past Africa representatives – Senegal, Mali, Angola, Mozambique, Tunisia, DR Congo and Kenya – have all failed to advance to the next round of the competition.
“I like the group that we are in,” the 25-year-old point guard who currently plays for Vasas Akademia in Hungary’s topflight, told FIBA.com.
“It’s a tough group but I think we have a great chance at making it to the next round,” she said. “We have played against Turkey so we know what to expect.
“At the time we were fresh, very new to each other and still learning the ropes of playing as a team. We have seen Argentina play. However, we haven’t seen Australia play. Bottom line, I think we have a big chance.”
Kalu, a member of the victorious D’Tigress team at the 2017 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket in Mali, remains confident that the Sam Vincent’s team can do things differently to make history at the tournament.
“I believe that every tournament is different. Although we did pretty okay two years ago in Nantes, I think it’s safe to say that we have grown so much as a team since then,” she reflected.
“We have made adjustments as far as staff and players. I think that those adjustments have put us in a great position for us to continue being successful.
“It is a huge deal representing Nigeria internationally. Being able to do so requires dedication, hard work, professionalism as well as team spirit.
“I have grown so much as an individual and player. Playing for the junior team was great and now playing on the senior level the feeling is nothing short of amazing. To be able to wear that green and white jersey to represent a whole country on a national platform is a blessing.”