Amidst D’Tigress celebration of their 2023 Women’s Afrobasket title were shards of glass ceilings of history as Rena Wakama went into the tournament as the only female head coach.
Nigeria won the 2023 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket championship, making it a record fourth title on the bounce.
The D’Tigress defeated Senegal 84-74 in Kigali, Rwanda to etch their names in Nigerian basketball folklore.
Nigeria are now the second side, after Senegal (1974 to 1981), to have won the championship four times in a row. They now have six titles.
The team clinched the crown in 2017, 2019, and 2021 before the most recent feat at the BK Arena.
Nigeria started the game on a good footing, winning 19-10 in the first quarter. At half-time, it was 43-31 in the D’Tigress’ favour.
But after the break, the Senegalese clawed back into the game. That gave them a 62-57 lead after the third quarter.
With just a quarter left, Coach Rena Wakama’s team fought stoutly to overpower their opponents and ended the game with a 10-point win. Mali took the bronze medal.
Saturday’s four-peat means the gaffer is the first female coach to win the Women’s Afrobasket competition, weeks after she was appointed to lead the side.
Wakama was not the only person that made history with the win. Amy Okonkwo also earned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) prize for her impressive showing in the East African nation. She got 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 assists.
En route to the final of the championship, the D’Tigress overpowered hosts Rwanda. Before then, they also beat Mozambique in the quarter-final. They were in Group D of the tournament alongside Egypt and Congo DR.