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Basketball Players Storm Sports Minister’s Office,Demand Immediate Action over NBBF Leadership Impasse

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Nigerian Basketball Players on Tuesday stormed the office of Nigeria’s Youth and Sports Development Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, to register in very strong the seeming unwillingness of the Ministry to resolve the post election impasse rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), since January 31, 2022.

Two elections of the said date – in Abuja as directed by the Ministry, and in Benin City, as decided by the immediate past President of the NBBF, Engr. Musa Kida.

The visibly angry players led by the Players Representative in the NBBF Board, Mr.Stanely Gumut later told Sports Journalists that the procession to the Sports Minister office was part of resolutions reached at their meeting held last Tuesday.

Gumut, said at the meeting, the players were aggitated that the ministry appear to be indifferent, while the leadership tussle takes a toll on their individual careers, and hampers the growth of the domestic component of Nigerian basketball,stating that Mark D Ball Basketball Championship has kept them busy.The players insisted that their future after Mark D Ball Championship is uncertain.

The players also decried the inaction of the Sports Minister, as it concerns some other recent events, which in their wisdom is unfavorable to them and the sport.

The players who turned out in their scores added that the resolution to visit the honourable Minister was sequel to the non receipt of a response from series of letters written to the Sports Minister.

“We thought it wise to visit the Games Master General of the country, and have an honest conversation with him. Our visit shouldn’t be deemed a protest, because it is a visit to the Sports Minister, who in addition is the custodian of all sports in Nigeria, is like a father figure to us.Mark D Ball Championship has kept us busy in recent years,but with the championship coming to an end,we are tempted to ask, what would become our future as players?”Gumut queried.

Gumut concluded that unfortunately for the players, the players were told the Minister was not on seat, and would not be in the office any soon, and that left the players with no other alternative, other than to match to the office of the Director FEAD to express their displeasure.

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Sports Ministry To Hold Maiden U-18 Basketball Championships

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The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has concluded arrangements to hold the maiden edition of the Nigeria U-18 Basketball Championships in the country, with a view to ensuring more youth participation in sports, especially in the game of basketball.

In a press statement issued by the Director of Press public relations, Mohammed Manga  revealed that

the competition which targets youth at the grassroots will commence with zonal elimination amongst the 36 States of the Federation and FCT between May 27 – 30, 2022 after which winners and first runners-up emerging from the zones will proceed to Abuja for the finals coming up between June 3 and 8, 2022.

The Ministry called on State Governments to ensure active participation of students and youth in the games  so as to build  talent development which will go a long way in curbing youth restiveness in the country. 

It commends President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for its commitment to the development of grassroots sports in the country and assured that it will continue to provide enabling environment for the full implementation of government policies, projects and programmes  in line with the policy thrust of the present administration especially as it relates to youth and sports development.

The Ministry in the coming weeks will role out programs on Grassroots Basketball Development with specific focus on Organisation of Basketball Leagues (both Male and Female, including sponsorship), Development of home based coaches with coaching clinics, with scientific approach to the Game of Basketball, seminars, workshops, development of the Referees in line with international standards, encouragement of Basketball Academy in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria, working with retired Nigerian basketball stars and active professionals, among others.

Government wishes to also restate its commitment to the support and encouragement of Community Basketball Competitions in the country.

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