The Nigeria Basketball Federation has paid glowing tributes to former D’Tigers invitee, Michael Olalekan Ojo who died during a training session after suffering a heart attack.
“This is another flower that unexpectedly withered at such a time it was expected to start blossoming,” NBBF President, Engr Musa Kida said of the 27-year-old.
“After a sterling college career in the United States of America and after securing a professional deal in Belgrade, it is so sad that the basketball world has been robbed of this emerging talent who has been described as one of the tallest to play basketball in Serbia.”
The Federation’s Vice President, Babs Ogunade also said beautiful things about the late player.
“I met with him in February at the FIBA Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in Serbia. I watched his match against Partizan Basketball. He was such a calm and unassuming personality.”
The North-Central Representative on the board, Isah Umah described the late centre, who won the 2019 Serbian Professional League with Crvena, as humble and hard-working.
Umar who was D’Tigers Team Manager when the team was preparing for the 2011 FIBA Afrobasket when Ojo was invited to the National team revealed that he was a true Nigerian who bled green and white.
“He was excited to be part of Team Nigeria and gave his best at such a young age. He did not make the final cut, but he was excited to have a chance to play for his fatherland.”
During the 2019–20 season, Ojo appeared in 22 EuroLeague games with Crvena Zvezda, averaging 4.1 points and 3 rebounds per game while appearing in about 108 games for his club before his untimely demise as teams were preparing for life after the Covid-19.
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