Rena Wakama: First Female Coach to Win AfroBasket Title

D’Tigress head coach Rena Wakama is the first female coach to win the Women’s Afrobasket title since the competitions inception in 1966.

D’Tigress recently beat Senegal 84-74 in the final and secured Nigeria’s place as only the second country to win the women’s Afrobasket title four times in a row.

Wakama was appointed less than a month before the competition in Rwanda, and went on to make groundbreaking history at the event.

Who is 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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