D’Tigress United States-based star, Joyce Ekworomadu believes representing Nigeria has helped to reignite her undying passion for the country. Fondly known as ‘Sweet J’, the 29-year-old now entertains basketball fans on gamedays with her team, the Globetrotters; a team of sportswomen and men who display basketball tricks, special game moves, spectacular dunks and ball-handling, among others.
“I’m Nigerian to the core. I love knowing about my culture and where my family is from. I encourage everyone to look into their own ancestry. It’s a cool feeling playing for Nigeria because of the energetic atmosphere and my teammates.
“It is also a different experience playing for a country where most of your family resides because of the enthusiasm the fans there have for sport.” Speaking after playing at the All Africa Games in Congo, Brazzaville and the AfroBasket 2015 Championship in Cameroon, Joyce reveals how playing for Nigeria women’s basketball team, D’Tigress has impacted on her game.
“Playing on the Nigerian national team really helped improve my game as well, because I was able to play with and against better and bigger athletes,” she says. “I was scouted by Kevin Cook in 2006-2007 at a conference game and he noticed that I could play very well. At the time, Coach Cook was the head coach of the national team and so he organised tryouts in 2007 in Houston and I was able to make the team and represent the country in the All Africa Games and the Cup of Nations. Ever since 2007, I have remained an active member of the national team,” Ekworomadu said.
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