LAGOS (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019) - Olumide Oyedeji has become the latest member of Nigeria's national men's team to give a thumbs-up to FIBA's New Competition System.
Following head coach Will Voigt's remarks on the innovative calendar, the 36-year-old - who helped his country win their first-ever FIBA AfroBasket title two years ago - has indicated he believes it will change the landscape of African basketball for good.
"I am glad with the new system being introduced by FIBA," noted the 6ft 9in (2.08) big man who currently runs Hoops & Reads in the Nigerian Premier Basketball Leagueon FIBA's Players' Commission. "There are challenges that would need to be met in terms of marketing, television and more. Ultimately, I am confident that it would bring a lot of positives to basketball on the continent.
"Imagine a situation where the FIBA AfroBasket 2015 winning team (Nigeria) is playing in Lagos, Kaduna, Ibadan or elsewhere, The turnout will be awesome because Nigerians are eager to see these stars."
The new system launches in November, and, over a four-year cycle from 2017 through 2021, national teams will play regular home and away games to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 and the FIBA Continental Cups 2021.
Additionally, the number of participating teams in the FIBA Basketball World Cup will increase from 24 to 32, with Africa being allocated five places instead of three as had been the case up to 2014.
The windows for the World Cup qualifiers will be November 20-28; February 19-27, June 25-July 3, September 10-18 and November 26-December 4 2018; and February 20-28 2019.