Why Oderah Chidom Quit the Nigeria Women’s Basketball Team

AfroBasket champion, Oderah Chidom has quit the Nigeria Women’s basketball team, citing a “lack of professionalism” from the Nigeria Basketball Federation.


Recall that the federation named Rena Wakama, a University of Western Carolina alum, and former national team player as the team’s new coach. She replaced Otis Hughely, who left last year.


Wakama’s appointment was followed by the announcement of open tryouts for the women’s team in Chicago, Lagos, and Abuja from July 8 to 11 three weeks before the Afrobasket championship.


This led to the withdrawal of the team from the FIBA World Cup.


Announcing her sudden retirement,  Chidom said: ‘It saddens me to announce that I will no longer play for the Nigerian National Team.’


She went on to explain that: ‘My purpose for doing this is to shed light on the lack of professionalism within the federation and that it needs to change.


Chidom also told ESPN that the open tryouts were the last straw for her.

“The trigger for me was seeing an Instagram post of open tryouts in three different locations three weeks before Afrobasket,” the 27-year-old Chidom said.

“I will not be attending. I don’t think that’s professional at all. I consider myself a professional. And I don’t think it’s okay for me to pay my way to try out for something when I think I have a resume that speaks for itself.

“I have standards of how I conduct business at the professional level, and Nigeria continues to disappoint me.

“This is a national team. Generally what you do is you invite a group of professionals and you compete in a camp and then the 12 best at that camp get to compete on whatever team and that’s mostly how a national team is conducted.

“I was with my family when I got the message and I just was in shock. Playing for the national team is something that my family is proud of, that I am proud of as it holds a lot of weight for me, and the way that they conduct themselves is taking all of that away from us. It’s just so disheartening.

“I have been blessed to play with a lot of teams where I have seen professionalism from management, and I don’t see those same qualities within our own federation. So to continuously keep coming back to to a federation that I feel does not value me is not worth it.

“I am officially done with national team. I cannot continue to have this added stress in my life. As a team, we try to choose our words very carefully so we do not offend anyone on the federation.

“But personally, I’m done and my purpose of doing this is to shed light on the lack of professionalism within the federation and that it needs to change.

“It’s really difficult to not have any sense of communication, not have any sense of professionalism. All of our information comes from Twitter and social media.

“We never know what’s going on. We ask a lot of questions about just simple things of when camp is, where it will be held, who are the coaches, and we get responses like ‘please be patient’.

“Everything that we do is super last minute. The level of professionalism is just not up to par with the constant production that we produce.”

NBBF president Musa Kida told ESPN open tryouts for the national team is nothing new.

“We did the same thing in 2017 and we raised a team that went on to win the AfroBasket in 2019,” said Kida.

“Not everybody will like the idea, but we are trying to make the best decisions for Nigerian basketball. We have a new coach and we want to rebuild the team.

“Of course, we would like to see all the players show up, but we can’t force any one to do so, and it is up to each player to make the decision that is best for them.”


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