Different stakeholders over the weekend lauded a youth-building initiative “Fireball Basketball championship” which they said would help build the skills of its young Nigerian, boosted their academic performances, and made the FCT a state to reckon within the country.
They made these remarks at the Final of the first edition of the Fireball competition in at the Area 1 basketball court in Nigeria’s Capital Territory, Abuja.
One of the organizers and the owner of the HotCoal Basketball Club in the Federal Capital Territory Mr. Ubon Udoh stated that his priority will be hosting at least one tournament in the capital city every month.
“It was a good tournament, it’s amazing the youngest team even won the tournament, this is why we do this thing, we have identified 2 or more talents that can definitely make a mark at National Under-16 level, we are going to make a case for them as try and get them some exposure, its amazing final three points game very close it really wonderful.
“Though my team lost that is basketball, if you don’t take the opportunity when you have it, you lose the game, we were the favorites for the tournament but like I said they did not make use of the opportunity so they miss it and of course this is home for a champion they have the supports from their fans, they have the momentum, and they tap into it and it work for them, we have to congratulate them.
When asked what will be the next move for the team? He replied, “My team is already playing in the Abuja city league, we have to register them already for National division One and this tournament is going to be an annual event so, that every year we are going to bring people together for the Fireball tournament emphasis for the younger players.”
An elated young organizer, Ruby Abalaka, said: “It was a very tough game at one point they were just going neck-to-neck and they were basically on a tie for the last 2 quarters, it was amazing the crowd was happy, the voltage was high, everybody was passionate about the game.
“Next edition we have a lot of ideas, innovation to improve on the game we are going to have a meeting and plan the next edition better we have something that we have noted them to improve on the edition.
“She said with the outcome of the game the objective of the game has been achieved: “as you can see there are a lot of people that could be doing worse things on the street, at this moment but they are watching or even play on the court aside that some players have been scouted, many will make it to the National team for trial.
“We are going to have more teams coming up, more games, we are going to have one on one coming up, we are going to have some shoot out, slam-done competition, we are going to have a lot more in the next edition.” She promised.
As for the Young Progressive Party YPP representatives, Mr. Bameyi who said: “the purpose of coming to the program was the sealed gear toward raising a new breed and our focus is young people so we want to catch them young so that Nigeria can become a better country in the nearest future that why we are investing in the youth.
“We are even preparing many more programmes including football tournament for youth across the country it’s something we are out to do and we do at all times.
“I want to call on Nigerian Youth to be resilient and never give up, to always have an attitude of succeeding at all cost because where there is will there is always a way they need to continue to be strong, creative, and innovative they will scale through there is nothing that has no end so it will come to an end.
While Speaking the most Valuable Player of the tournament Olawale Alege expressed: “I fell so good at the beginning they all underrating us that our is not that good, we can’t really perform and now look at where we are now, we are taking the trophy home I am just happy
“This tournament has done a lot both improving on my mistake, working as a team and I am really happy about that.
“It really hot me when I see the amount of talent we have in this country and still nobody invests, Nigeria is all about school, school and school all the time, people don’t look on talents
“School is very important don’t get me wrong but still every single child has a talent and I think we should invest in talent who knows what future holds talent is very useful.
When asked what the future holds for Olawale? He replied: “Honestly, I am certain the future is bright as for me the future is bright basketball-wise and I know the future holds a lot of prosperity.
“My dream is to play at the NBA honestly I want to make it to the NBA that is my prayer.”