CLAIM: Peter Obi claimed that Nigeria has about 100 players in NBA.
CONTEXT: Responding to a question posed during an interview on Politics Today, a Programme on Channels Television, the Labour Party presidential candidate replying to a question on why he is focused on supporting the youth, said
“…proud, celebrating their talent. And this is what we have everywhere. If you go into the American NBA, out of 150 players, almost 100 are Nigerians. These youths are so talented that they are where you need to focus to reach their talent and productive energy to turn around the country…”
VERIFICATION: Our partners at Daily Trust have clarified where the misconception behind this claim might have come from. Teams in the U.S invite unregistered or young players, referred to as rookies, to their training camps so that the coaching staff can evaluate their performance and select their active roster. However, actual registered NBA players are restricted to 15 players on each of the 30 teams which adds up to 450 players, of which Nigeria only has 10.
Relying on available data, we can confirm that Nigeria does not have about 100 players in the NBA as claimed by Peter Obi. In fact, no country or continent has produced up to that number since the inception of the league. Therefore, the claim by Obi is false in its entirety.
WHY WE FACT-CHECKED THIS: Several presidential candidates have been peddling fake news in a bid to support their campaign. This claim was fact-checked to provide facts to Nigerian citizens.