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12 Ndidi Madu (NGR)
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Madu calls it quits ahead of FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup

NASHVILLE (FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018) - Nigerian star player Ndidi Madu has announced her shock retirement from the national team ahead of the upcoming FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup in Spain from Spain 22-30. 

The 29-year old forward, who was at the heart of Nigeria's dominance at the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 in the Malian capital of Bamako, was scheduled to be an integral part of the West African nation's charge at the world showpiece. 

In an emotional message written on her social media pages, she said, "After six amazing years of being a professional basketball player, I am hanging up my shoes."

"This by far has been one of the hardest decisions I have made, but I thank God for His strength and the support of those who I have spoken to about my decision to move forward and help youth reach their academic and athletic goals through coaching and my Team Madu Foundation. A big thank you to my family friends and fans. 

Nigeria head coach Sam Vincent did not hide his sorrow at her confirmed absence in Spain as one of his key players and dependable assets especially at the world stage where experience will come in handy. 

He said, "I am disappointed about losing Ndidi. She is a veteran player with great skills and played a big role in our success last summer. I spoke to Ndidi and she wants to focus on life after basketball and giving back to the game so I wish her the best. She will be missed but I wish her all the best with her new endeavours." 

Madu's versatility and physical astuteness in the paint along with captain Aisha Mohamed and Evelyn Akhator is among the many reasons Nigeria had an edge over then reigning champions, title favourites and record 12-time African winners Senegal. 

Nigeria are in Group B along with Australia, Turkey and Argentina for the Tenerife tournament this September.