How We Can Qualify 2020 Olympics – D’Tigress captain, Adaora Elonu

D’Tigress won the Afrobasket title for the second time in two years recently in Senegal after winning the title two years ago in Mali. Speaking with our correspondent, the captain of the team, Adaora Elonu, shares her experience.

D’Tigress captain, Adaora Elonu / Photo credit:
D’Tigress captain, Adaora Elonu / Photo credit:

It was a good championship for you with the winning of the Afrobasket in Senegal; how did you feel as a player and the captain of the team?

It feels great. This is the first time for me to win it back-to-back for Nigeria; the other team that did it was Angola. It feels great to be part of the team that did it. It feels amazing.

Were you ladies intimidated facing the Senegalese fans in the final?

I was not intimidated, ratherI was in awe and amazed actually. The Senegalese government is doing an amazing job, investing in basketball, creating the arena that gave them the opportunity to host.

This is something our government needs to look into definitely.

The support they had around the city; everywhere we went, everyone knew who we were. Just because of that Nigeria needs to follow suit and create a basketball culture.

I was in awe with the crowd because they were amazing. They were basketball fanatics; they were 100 per cent basketball, 100 per cent Senegal, although they had some crazy ones, they were all doing it in a positive way.

I wasn’t intimidated at all, I was impressed, and awe is the word.

We didn’t have adequate preparation. It’s true we did well at the championship but our preparation was inadequate. We could have done better than we did

When your opponent came back in the final, did you think you might lose the game and the title?

I think it is important you train your mind you are going win. You are going out there to win, whatever outcome and if you lose, you lose.

However, my mind was telling me we would win.

We knew we were champions already and we just had to make the move and show it on the court. At the end of the day, we had the victory.

You will be going back to Senegal in November for the Olympic Games qualifiers, what do you think should be done?

We didn’t have adequate preparation. It’s true we did well at the championship but our preparation was inadequate.

We could have done better than we did. We didn’t have enough preparations and only prepared during the tournament and that’s not acceptable.

We should be doing better than we did. We need to put in more effort and we also need more support from the government, the federation and other corporate organisations.

If we have proper training, it will take us a long way.

Do you think the team will qualify for the Olympics?

Sure, but we still have one obstacle; we need to play the first round of qualifiers later in November before the main one.

We need to be focused, get ready and make sure the team get ready for the qualifiers and we must not underestimate our opponent.

The Interview Editors

Written by The Interview Editors

The Interview is a niche publication, targeting leaders and aspiring leaders in business, politics, entertainment, sports, arts, the professions and others within society’s upper middle class and high-end segment in Nigeria.