Nigeria won the 2023 FIBA Women’s Afrobasket championship, winning a record fourth title on the bounce.
The D’Tigress defeated Senegal 84-74 in Kigali, Rwanda to etch their names into Nigerian basketball folklore.
After trailing by double digits, Senegal closed the gap to five points (69-64) in the fourth quarter. However, that was the closest the Lionesses could get to threatening Nigeria. The now six-time African champions regained control of the game, and closed it out superbly to remember everyone who rules women’s basketball in Africa.
Nigeria’s roster deserves praise. Three of their five starting players finished with double digits to their credit. Elizabeth Balogun sank 15 points, Sarah Ogoke added 13 points, and Amy Okonkwo contributed 14 points.
Also making this list are Ifunaya Okoro, who led Nigeria in scoring with 16 points. Munjanatu Musa hit a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds to contribute to the D’Tigresses’ victory.
Besides winning their fourth African title in a row, Nigeria closed this year’s Women’s campaign unbeaten (5-0), extending their continental winning streak to 24-0, dating back to the 2015 Women’s AfroBasket Third-Place game in Yaounde.
Nigeria’s apparelled success has seen Rena Wakama become the first female head coach to win a Women’s AfroBasket title.
Speaking about the win, Rena Wakama, Nigeria head coach said “Against Mozambique, we were down by 10 or 12 points. I looked into their eyes, and they told me: “Coach, we’re not going to lose this game.” And they won. That was the defining moment for me. It has been a long year for me. I asked God for a sign, and this trophy was the biggest of them all.
Nigeria are now the second side, after Senegal (1974 to 1981), to win the championship four times in a row. They now have six titles.
The team clinched the crown in 2017, 2019, and 2021 before the latest feat at BK Arena.
D’Tigresses’ sixth continental title comes exactly 20 years after they conquered their very first African crown in 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique.
Prior to Nigeria, Senegal won four African titles in the 1970s.