Nigeria’s National Female Basketball Team, D’Tigress, became just the second team to win the women’s Afrobasket championship four times in a row by defeating Senegal 84-74 in the championship game on Saturday.

Aside from that, the head coach of D’Tigress, Rena Wakama, also made history as the first female coach to win the competition since it began in 1966. After 57 years of male supremacy in women’s basketball in Africa, Wakama is a welcome and exciting change.

Despite being appointed less than a month before the Rwandan tournament, Wakama created history and brilliance. The team had never lost in an African champions encounter and had won the first three competitions.

Here are five things you should know about the woman with the Midas touch, Rena Wakama

1. Wakama was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, on April 11, 1992. Johnson Wakama and Rosana Oba, her parents, are natives of Okrika in Rivers State.

2. She studied at the Western Carolina University, where she graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation. She served four years on the institution’s women’s basketball team, the “Catamounts.”

3. She had a brief playing career before joining the D’Tigress in 2015, right after she graduated from college. She travelled to Cameroon with D’Tigress for the 2015 Women’s Afrobasket competition, where Nigeria placed third. Due to a missed registration deadline, according to Wakama, her name was not listed on the Nigerian national roster for that competition.

4. Before starting her coaching career, she competed for Nigeria’s First Bank at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women.

5. Wakama relocated to Manhattan College, where she spent her first two years as the team’s operations director for women’s basketball. In her third year at the university, she was promoted to assistant coach, where she honed her skills while acting as the team’s academic and volunteer liaison.



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