I was reluctant to write this when asked because I’ve always been a guy who likes to keep what I do on the low. Yes, I’m the one behind the Nigeria Basketball Twitter account. The one behind all the memes, clapbacks, videos, and coverage of the team.
When word got out, many assumed this was a one-off situation. That I was called to cover the team on top of my daily responsibilities at Complex. Those who know me know how much pride I have in being Nigerian. I actually created the Nigerian Basketball account in 2012 as a 16-year-old in high school (or secondary school, for those reading in Nigeria). I’ll get to that backstory in a minute, but I’ve always promised myself that once this team had its moment I would take advantage.
My goal was always to grow the awareness of basketball in Nigeria. Then I turned “professional” in the social media game, learning the ins and outs of the industry, so I knew exactly how to approach the team’s run to the Olympics: Just have fun.
That’s exactly what I did, combining my ability to make people laugh on social media with my background and watched the account grow from 30,000 followers to 92,000 in a matter of five days. The past week has been great, highlighted by the upset of Team USA last Saturday in Las Vegas. But I obviously could not have done it without Nigeria doing incredible things on the court and coach Mike Brown and his staff allowing me to be there for every single moment.
The reactions from the tweets have been incredible, especially from those who told me they’ve started watching basketball because of my work. There have even been people who have DMed me in Nigeria asking for an autograph. The players have shown me love. But I’m not a player. They deserve the credit.