February 11, (THEWILL) – In the final game of the qualifiers for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the Nigerian women’s basketball team sealed their spot at the Summer Games despite a 78-61 loss to Belgium. Their victory over Senegal earlier in the tournament and Belgium’s defeat of Senegal had already ensured Nigeria would be one of the 12 teams competing in Paris.
As the defending African champions, Nigeria came into the qualifying tournament with high expectations. The team chose “dauntless” as their mantra, hoping to embrace a fearless mentality. That warrior spirit was on full display through their qualifying run.
“It’s been a journey, and I think it is just a testament to who we are as Nigerians. We’ll put a team together and we’ll fight,” said Nigerian coach Rena Wakama, who guided D’Tigress to their 4th consecutive African title.
Paris 2024 will mark Nigeria’s third Olympic appearance in women’s basketball after competing at both the 2004 and 2020 Games. With sights set on making a statement in Paris, the team wants to build on its legacy.
Veteran Amy Okonkwo, part of the 2020 Nigerian squad, said the goal remains the same to win it all. “The goal is always to win. The goal is to win, to prepare, to win,” she remarked. After rising to the challenge in qualifying, Nigeria hopes to embrace that dauntless spirit all the way to the podium.
About the Author
Jude Obafemi is a versatile senior Correspondent at THEWILL Newspapers, excelling in sourcing, researching, and delivering sports news stories for both print and digital publications.