History of Basketball in Nigeria

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Basketball in Nigeria was invented by a man named Walid Zabadne and started in the late 50’s.

Walid Zabadne became the first president of the Nigerian Basketball Federation and the sports was introduced in Africa by missionaries and colonial administration during the middle of the 20th century but started to gain recognition in the year 1964 in Nigeria and when the Nigeria national basketball team became a member of FIBA.

Basketball is currently the second most popular sport in the continent as the number of people practicing the basketball games increases in African countries, it is important to bring together the rules and launch continental competitions in order to organize the efforts of various emerging federations which promote the basketball game to make it compete strongly not only in Nigeria but in Africa alongside soccer.

The association in charge in Nigeria for the sport activities is the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) and has in all its due courses made the sports of basketball not only popular in Nigeria but as one of the best seventeenth that Nigerian are held in high regards for as they have participated in various championships like FIBA Africa and the team as well have participated in the game for about 17 times and still counting. 

Nigerian basketball team featured in the FIBA Africa championships in 1972, 1978, 1980, 1985, 1987, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015, their participation in the game has brought them fame as they have won a gold medal in the FIBA championships including three silver and bronze medals respectively.

The Nigeria basketball club has also performed in FIBA World Cup and other international sporting events; some of the sports events they featured include the 1998 and 2006 FIBA World cup where they were respectively placed in the 13th and 14th positions.

The Nigerian men’s basketball world ranking rose to 16th position after the last edition of the FIBA Africa Championship where they won gold by defeating Angola, one of the best basketball teams in Africa, Senegal and Angola rank second and third respectively after Nigeria in the rank table.

The women’s basketball team of Nigeria are also doing fine, recently they rank sixth in Africa and globally secured the 42nd position. The women basketball team is striving hard to come out better and rank higher on the table and is possible but only through total dedication and diligence from the team, and effective management and planning from the Board of the federation.

Nigeria basketball team is proud to represent the country in all its activities and has been recorded as the only country in Africa to have qualify for the Summer Olympics which was held in 2012 in London, and in the year 2015 when they also qualified and defeated one of the world’s elite in the field of basketball – Lithuania and Greece precisely to win the first ever basketball championships by an African country.

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