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Nigeria reveal roster for U17 Women's World debut in Zaragoza
ABUJA (2016 FIBA U17 Women's World Championship) - Nigeria are counting down the days to their first-ever appearance at the FIBA U17 Women's World Championship and looking to tap into the rich expertise of other nations.
Excitement is building ahead of their historic debut after they named a 21-strong initial candidate list including those players who carried them to the Final of last year's FIBA Africa U16 Women's Championship, the only game they didn't win in Madagascar.
Headlining their roster are Rita Happy James who top scored in Antananarivo after she racked up 12.5 points per game, and there is also a spot for Ene Blessing Adams who smashed it on the glass with a staggering 13.5 boards per game.
Rita Happy James was named to the All-Star Five in Antananarivo
Nigeria head coach Adeka Daudu is optimistic that his team's first outing at the U17 Women's Worlds will turn out to be a blessing as Nigeria aspire to become a major player in youth championships - both in Africa and on the world stage.
"One thing I'm confident of is that, since it's our debut, Nigeria will have a lot to learn from other more established countries that will be at the FIBA U17 Women's World Championship," he said.
"We are hitting camp soon and the [Nigeria Basketball] Federation has absolute confidence in the coaching crew.
"Some friendlies are being lined-up both at home and maybe one or two elsewhere before the team hit Zaragoza."
Though Nigeria may not be title contenders, we are not pretenders either. - Daudu
"And any player selected at the end of the camping exercise should consider herself lucky, as all 21 players are as deserving of making the final roster."
Nigeria 21-player preliminary roster for 2016 FIBA U17 Women's World Championship: Shakirat Agoro Abdulazeez, Ene Blessing Adams, Onome Mary Akinbode, Eloha Adazor, Adeola Halimot Badmus, Irene Chikwudi, Peace Amarachi Chinyere, Jennifer Adaeze Eze, Monica Ezekiel, Lucy Ibeh, Rita Happy James, Nzamwa Hanatu Maikasuwa, Precious Ogbuta, Endurance Odogbor, Isioma Oduah, Ruth Omotayo Udueyin, Joyce Ogedengbe, Ifunanya Okoro, Ada Agnes Paul, Anita Seye and Abiodun Damilare Yusuf.