Nigerian women’s basketball team, D’Tigress, head coach, Rena Wakama, has become the first female coach to win the AfroBasket Championship on Saturday, 5th August, 2023, after her team defeated Senegal 84-74 in the finals held in Rwanda.
Wakama who went into the competition as the only female coach, was appointed as the Nigerian female basketball national team coach on 30th June, 2023, less than a month to the competition.
When she took over she was saddled with responsibility of rebuilding a fragile team which had missed out on participating in the 2022 world cup due to internal conflict between officials of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, in the aftermath of the federation elections in 2022.
Wakama who’s parents are from Rivers State in Nigeria, was born on April 11, 1992, in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.
The 31-year-old graduated from Western Carolina with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and played collegiate basketball in the United States before transitioning to coaching.
She played in the United kingdom as well.
Wakama had a brief stint with the D’Tigress in 2015, when she accompanied them to Women’s Afrobasket tournament but her name was missing from the roaster because of a missed deadline for registration.
She also represented Nigeria’s First Bank at the FIBA Africa Champions Cup for Women in 2015.
The 31 year old was as an assistant coach at Stony Brooks University, U.S prior to her appointment as the female national team coach.
Story: Ihuoma Ukeje