Alabi has Tigers roaring in China
Another NBA player that will help D Tigers in their quest to make history and be the first Men's class from their country to play in an Olympic game will be the 7 foot 1 Solomon Alabi.
Transplanted at the age of 15 to the US, he attended high school at Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida where he was an all-state performer and helped lead Montverde Academy to a perfect 30–0 record during his senior season
A defencive star in the ACC while at Florida State he was initially signed by the Dallas Mavericks with the 50th pick. There is no doubt that he would have been picked higher if he had not been afflicted with Hepatitis B shortly before draft day.
Nevertheless the Kaduna born native has shrugged off that burden and despite being traded to the Raptors for raw cash, has bought into his new teams regime for him with no fuss .It had him assigned to trench duty, first with the Erie Bay Hawks, and then with the Bakersfield Jam - both in the D League.
His tenacity and patience paid off as he was finally recalled to the Raptors where he remains part of a serious attempt by the Canadians to regain the form they one displayed with the likes of Bosch and Carter.
Nigeria as pointed out will also be counting on these attributes to shine fully when they arrive in Venezuela. They already seem to be paying off as D Tigers continue to decimate their Chinese tune up opponents - the top notch Foshan Long Lions. On Friday it was by 30 points and on Saturday and Sunday it was again by double digits as the ‘cats’ already seemed in tournament form.
Next will be more tune ups in the US against the UK and then they jet off to Brazil to play in a 4 nation tournament featuring much stronger opposition including Brazil. Before that though there will be more cannon fodder in form of Fujian Quanzhou Bank and Shanxi Zhongyu thrown at them in China.
Bearing in mind how the West Africans are looking we predict another mauling.