Arts Entertainments

Veronica Chika Iweanya – I want to play for The D’Tigress of Nigeria

Veronica Chika Iweanya is a lot of joy to be with. Always smiling and full of emotion, the 24-year-old shared some incredible stories about her life during an Instagram Live session. Currently based in Lille, in the north of France, the Nigerian basketball star has come a long way in both her career and her sports.

After graduating with a first-class bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronic engineering from the prestigious Covenant University, Ota Ogun State, Nigeria, in 2017, he traveled to France for his master’s degree in 2019 and continued his love affair with basketball. Standing 6 feet (183 cm) tall, the Lagos-born basketball player shared her love for the game. A game that she developed a passion for due to the desire of players and coaches to help her develop the skills necessary to excel in the sport.

A defining moment in her basketball career would be at the 2018 Africa Giants international camp where she was selected as part of the top 50 girls to attend her first girls’ camp in Nigeria. The Masai Ujiri initiative sponsored by Nike and the president of the Toronto Raptors brought in the best coaches from around the world who guided the campers in both basketball and life skills. She says that Masai always told children to dream big. But what stuck with her was the mantra “I’m a giant!” that was repeated throughout the camp. She to date, she says that she still says it as a mantra before every match, tryout, interview, etc.

Regarding the ease of combining studies and sports activities, Veronica Chika Iweanya confessed how difficult it was for her to adapt at first. The French language was a serious obstacle for her to settle down. It was very difficult to settle down with her basketball team since all of her classmates and teammates spoke French. She was forced to learn French and her basketball coach was quick to come to her aid, devoting an hour before each training day to that end. ‘The amazing support system I found around me made it easy for me to adapt so quickly’

As he learned the French language, things began to pick up a bit, as did his performance on the basketball court. An additional incentive was when she came into contact with the Nigerian national basketball player Evelyn Akhator, who coincidentally signed for the French basketball team Flammes Carolo. The Ardennes-based team signed the exciting centre-forward in 2019. Veronica, whose ambition is to play for The D’Tigress, has since developed a professional relationship with Evelyn Akhator. She sees her as a mentor and a person who has paid her her due in the game.

Sport has received its fair share of racism and Veronica confirmed from her personal experience that she has been lucky not to experience it in France. Interestingly, during away games with her basketball team (she found herself fouling more often than when they played at home) she gets fouled more often than when they play at home.

When asked about the contentious issue of equal pay between male and female athletes, she expressed disgust at the disparity because if female basketball players are expected to dunk, for example, then they should be paid the same as their male counterparts. She sees no reason why male athletes should be paid more, as women even have to traverse more difficult terrain in their careers and sports.

On the plans of the French government to ease the confinement from Monday May 11 and the possibility of sports activities returning to normal, Veronica expressed her sincere opinion and said that she would have preferred that the pandemic had been fully cleared up before that such measures be taken. implemented. Sports like basketball are based on contact and the level of risk is high, so it would be good, for safety reasons, to ensure that players are not exposed to such a high risk.

It’s easy to name your favorite player, especially when that player has been a great role model for you. Evelyn Akhator is her favorite player (With her fans at 10 points and 10 rebounds) in every game, Veronica confessed that she greatly influenced her style of play since she also averaged double-doubles in her career university. She also mentioned her resilience and mental toughness as key skills that she admired in the Nigerian basketball star. while the Nigerian women’s national team, The D’Tigress, remains her favorite team. He recalled stories of her during her undergrad years, having her entire office where she interned watch a live D’Tigress game during office hours where Sarah Ogoke hit a winning 3-pointer in the closing seconds of the Afrobasket tournament a few years ago. years. !

Currently playing with Stade Roubaisien Basket which competes in the French Basketball Federation (FFBB), he happily shared the news of having completed his master’s program at EDHEC Business School, Lille, France. The journey hasn’t been easy, but in a message to her fans, she expressed optimism about achieving her goals of playing for the Nigerian women’s national team- The D’Tigress, a sentiment echoed by the fact that she has the potential. to excel at the highest level in running and sports.

A surprising fact about this talented basketball star is that he would have opted for football if he had not fallen in love with his first love. You may be wondering what position she would choose on a soccer field. Defense, of course, was the answer. It’s not hard to understand knowing that the attackers would be competing with a mighty 6ft defensive bulwark weighing 67kg. Not the most exciting prospect for even the most ambitious attacker. For now, the love affair between Veronica and basketball continues. Tomorrow is full of possibilities and hopefully one will get to see Veronica Chika Iweanya donning The D’Tigress’s beautiful green white t-shirt!

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