Former National basketball coach Ayodele Bakare popularly called the Oracle in the basketball community. He remains one of the most successful basketball coach in the history of Nigeria basketball having qualified the national team for the 2012 Olympics in London and also led the team to become the first African team to win a match at the Olympics. .

He bore his mind on the performance of the national basketball team at the on going Commonwealth games 2018 in Gold Coast Australia .

HMMMNNNNNN……..PLEASE LET US STOP MAKING UNTENABLE EXCUSES ABOUT THIS COMMONWEALTH GAMES BASKETBALL DISASTER, AND INSTEAD FOCUS SINCERELY ON HOW TO SALVAGE OUR NATIONAL TEAM PROGRAM, MOVING FORWARD.

I am really trying to stay away from discussions about the National team. Perhaps because many of the comments emanating from the ‘most credible’ sources are deliberately tainted with sentiment, and are often nothing more than attempts to explain away and justify the ridicule which our national team program has become.

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However, please permit me to make just one observation, which is this. As long as we keep pretending that disasters like these have a rational and acceptable explanation, and as long as we keep dodging the real issues and allow ourselves to be pacified with false explanations about why the calamities befalling our national team are unavoidable, then our national team program will continue to spiral downwards into free fall.

Please don’t tell me that we did not prepare well. Was our team not camped for over two months?

Don’t tell me that some of our players joined the team only hours before the start of the tournament. Was there any tournament rule specifically forbidding Nigeria not to have it’s player roster assembled in time like other countries did?

And don’t tell me that those foreign based players were the best available to us. I have recruited players for Nigeria for over two decades and still keep tabs on our players internationally. The beauty of the Nigerian talent pool is that we are more than 200million strong as a population locally and in diaspora. Thus we always have a huge pool of talented foreign based players to tap from, regardless of the time of year. Whoever put that roster together was thoroughly incompetent and did not do a professional job, or they deliberately followed an agenda which did not include presenting our best players. That is the fact; take it or leave it.

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Don’t tell me that our players were sick. Is presenting healthy and fit athletes not part of our responsibilities when attending tournaments such as this?

Don’t tell me beating those teams should be beyond the aspirations of the Nigerian national team due to Scotland and New Zealand belonging to a superior basketball heritage than Nigeria. Are you telling us to disregard the FIBA rankings which place us above them? Or should we disregard the fact that we have previously beaten both Scotland and New Zealand before? Or should we disregard the fact that we paraded grown ‘men’ against ‘boys’, pros against college students, much of the time?

NO, NO, NO. Please don’t tell us fables to palliate the deep pain which has been inflicted upon us. Rather, please reflect honestly and sincerely on what has gone wrong. And even if we cannot publicly admit our failures, at least let our remorseful silence be a testimony of our determination to right the wrongs and start on the path of reconstruction of our national team program.

Let the Oracle come and be going.

Posted with permission from the ORACLE – Ayodele Bakare

 

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