Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri did not hold back in a letter he wrote to the Nigerian government on their decision to withdraw the men's and women's national basketball teams from competitions for two years. Ujiri was joined in his criticism by Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka. Both Ujiri and Udoka are of Nigerian descent.
FIBA recently had to replace the Nigerian women's team in the 2022 Women's World Cup. The men's team is also expected to be removed from qualifiers for the 2023 Men's World Cup.
“The leaders of the basketball ecosystem in Nigeria continue to rob our youth of their present and future while tearing the entire basketball community apart — this needs to stop,” Ujiri wrote.
Udoka stressed that the dysfunction has existed for years.
“A lot of the same stuff I dealt with as a player, which is disappointing,” said Udoka, while he also said the federation suffers from disorganization at the very top.