The basketball community has been thrown into a frenzy after the Nigeria Basketball Federation confirmed the appointment of coach Rena Wakama as head coach for the Team Nigeria Women’s basketball team, for two years, Saturday PUNCH reports.

The federation made the announcement in a tweet on Friday.

D’Tigress have been without a head coach since Otis Hughley resigned from his role with the five-time Afrobasket champions in 2022.

The appointment of Wakama, a former national team player, was however received with open arms as basketball faithful took to Twitter to congratulate the coach.

Robert Olimene wrote, “Big congratulations to her and all the very best to the D’Tigeress.”

Boma added, “Congrats that they get 1. A woman 2. A woman who played 3. A Nigerian but….. pay her on time please and there is work to be done with very little time, a title to defend so let’s get it!!!”

Tayo Salaam felt relieved that a new coach has been appointed since Otis left his post.

“Finally, a replacement for coach Otis,” he wrote.

Ifie Ozaka simply said, “Congratulations to Coach Rena Wakama.”

QueenC tweeted, “Good one. Here is wishing her and the team the very best.

Olaniyi Oyedokun was already eyeing success under the new coach.

He said, “I pray for her and the team. This team has suffered at the hand of the sports ministry enough. I pray we shall be compensated with another Afrobasket Cup and Paris Olympic medal.”

Wakama, who hails from Rivers, is a former national team player, and currently an assistant coach at Stony Brooks University in the US.

Wakama was a four-year letterman at the University of Western Carolina and also played professional basketball in the United Kingdom.

She received a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Western Carolina in 2014 and an MBA from Manhattan in 2019.

Wakama is in her fourth year as an assistant coach at Manhattan College after serving for two years as Director of Women’s Basketball Operations.

As an assistant coach, Wakama oversees the development of the wing/guard position players, while also serving as the team’s academics and community service liaison.

Under her mentorship, the Jaspers earned a program-high 3.61 team GPA and placed fifth nationally in community service hours for all of Division I women’s basketball.

Wakama helped develop Davis and Brazil Harvey-Carr to earn post-season All-MAAC honours during the 2021/22 season.

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