Nigerian Basketball: Counting The Cost Of A Soulless Ban


The Sports minister, Sunday Dare, waved an official paper that in a later explanation from his office, will magically bring to an end the age-long problems in Nigerian basketball. 

In the ensuing chaos, some members of the women’s team who, through sweat, blood and owed allowances, qualified for the women’s basketball world cup dropped their heads across various social media.

Days after the dust has settled and no saviour in sight except for breaking news on a new grassroots basketball competition, coming in June for a sport never lacking In grassroots basketball programs.

Nigerian basketball, which hitherto was on auto, has come to a halt, and with is the dying embers of a team sport that brought so much joy in the last two years.

Two years earlier, Sunday Dare was grinning from ear to ear after successfully convincing the federal executive council to designate sports as a business.

Sunday Dare

Now he is sending sports back to the dark ages with a fiat typical of a carpenter that sees every problem as a nail.

Ranked 14th in the world, The D’Tigress, has an outside chance of reaching good heights at the FIBA women’s world cup.

Nigerian Basketball Background.

It’s the year 2017, and another sports minister, Solomon Dalung, has just endorsed an election for a faction without the presence of media and stakeholders.

What happened is a tale of power-mongering, relegating basketball players to the background while the administrators are centre stage.

Nigeria Basketball

The Cost Of Minister Dare’s Ban

Averagely the ban will cost Nigerian basketball additional two to three years if we are being honest. The qualification system of FIBA will make it so even if FIBA forgives Nigeria. 

To qualify for the Olympics, you have to attend the world cup and rank at least as the best African team, which was how we reached the last Olympics in Tokyo 2020

The world cup qualifiers are in the second phase, and if Nigeria misses it, they will be out till 2026, missing out on the world cup and Olympics in Paris in 2024. 

Similarly, the same thing applies to the women’s team. 

The cost is too much.

Dtigress world cup


  • Nigeria will be out till 2026 
  • African world cup qualifiers phase two
  • The 2023 World cup serves as qualifiers for the Olympics.
  • The world cup and Olympics serve as qualifiers for Afrobasket. It means we will be out till 2026.
  • Nigeria will get a fine for disruption. 
  • D’Tigress won’t make the 2024 Olympics.

If the decision stays for two weeks, D’Tigers will be out til 2026

Basketball grassroots is thriving and doesn’t lack competition. Camps after camps, competitions around and youngsters are going abroad in numbers. We didn’t have the MYSD before NBA Africa opened shop here. All the grassroots initiatives are happening without even the NBBF.

Nigeria Basketball dtigress bond

Nigerian Basketball Final Analysis

In the final analysis, the MYS&D need to see the foley of their knee jerk, spur of the moment reaction.

Stylishly turning back with a terrible PR which seeks to push the blame on the administrators won’t cut it. 

The minister says he wants to see if the administrators love the sport enough to walk away in an interview with NTA. However, for a sport with a constitution, it’s strange to see the government take such a decision. 

It’s a coup because that action suspended the constitution of NBBF just like the military will do. 

Six days after the decision, there is no pathway or IMC for Nigerian basketball. It shows the short-sightedness of the decision and their plans to unseat the FIBA recognised leadership. 


Meanwhile, it’s the second time the sports minister is making a mess of a decision after dissolving all federations in 2021.

The dissolution includes federations with a constitution that clearly define how they will transition to a new administration. 

He again staged a coup to wield a power he shouldn’t have in the first instance. How did SAD move from a man seeking to turn sports in Nigeria from leisure to business to making decisions that take Nigeria back to the dark ages of crisis where chaos merchants thrive? 


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