Nigerian Officials Deny Ujiri Claims of ‘Robbing Youth’ of Basketball

Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri expressed his feelings earlier this month in an open letter
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Photos: Twitter

The vice-president of the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) says the head of the 2019 NBA champions (Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri above) was "misinformed" when he accused the body of robbing the nation's youth of basketball and tearing the sport apart.

Ujiri expressed his feelings earlier this month in an open letter published days after it was confirmed that Nigeria will miss the Women's Basketball World Cup.

Mali have replaced Nigeria at the tournament in Australia later this year after the Nigerian government's decision in May to withdraw from international basketball for two years.

"If Masai had all the facts, he would not make such conclusions," Ogunade told BBC Sport Africa. "I communicate regularly with Masai, it is possible he has been misinformed. Mr Ujiri is entitled to his opinion."

"The Minister and his co-travellers in the Ministry [of Sports] are the ones manufacturing the crisis."

In response, the ministry has said that the decision to pull out of international basketball came from Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari himself. Read more.

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