14 - 20
August 2023
1 Uche Iroegbu (NGR)
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VOTE: Who will be the future leader of the D'Tigers?

LAGOS (Nigeria) - One of the big debates around Nigerian basketball at the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in Lagos is about which baller could emerge as a future leader of the team.

Ike Diogu became the D'Tigers' leader over the past decade. He led Nigeria to two Olympic Games in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016). But Diogu, who turns 40 in September,  hasn't featured for his country since the first window of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers held in Angola last year.

There are a number of potential leaders for the former African champions and here are the three leading candidates. You can also let us know who you think will become the biggest leader from the trio in the fan vote below.

Chimezie Metu

Metu who last played for the Sacramento Kings in the NBA and has recently signed for the Phoenix Suns, is often available when Nigeria needs him. His passion for D'Tigers has been immeasurable in recent times. 

Since he made his D'TIgers debut at the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Metu has subsequently put up incredible numbers at the Tokyo Olympics, the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket and the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers.

But his impact goes beyond the basketball court, since he is often seen on social media platforms discussing issues to improve basketball in Nigeria.

Uche Iroegbu

For some,  the younger brother of D'Tigers point guard Ikenna Iroegbu, represents the future the of the team.

His dedication to his national team is better exemplified by his contribution to the D'Tigers. His numbers skyrocketed from 5 points and 2 assists per game at the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers to 9.6 points and 3.4 assists per game in the last edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers. 

And, if his 24 points and 5 assists in Monday's 93-87 loss Senegal are anything to go by, this might be his time and lead Nigeria.

Daniel Utomi

After leading Nigeria in scoring at the 2021 AfroBasket with 16.8 points per game, Utomi continues to make a huge difference on the court.

And his leadership potential was evident during the highly-contested game against Senegal this past Monday where Utomi appeared to be  a vocal leader when Nigeria needed him to be, He also contributed on both ends of the floor with 13 points and 6 rebounds and 2 assists.