NBBF thankful as Nigerian govt announces plans for 109 basketball courts

The Nigeria Basketball Federation has thanked the Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports for its support to funding and approval of its programmes.

NBBF president Musa Kida paid a courtesy call on the sports minister Sunday Dare upon arrival from the 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers in Rwanda.

Kida said on Tuesday that the board was there to appreciate and brief the Minister and other ranking ministry officials on their Kigali experience and convey the goodwill messages of the coaching crew and players to the minister.

“I came here to personally brief the Honourable Minister about Kigali. Kigali was the first window for Afrobasket 2021 qualifiers. I brought in very glad tidings of our successes in beating all the teams we faced, but more importantly I brought the glad tidings of NBBF and the new technical crew headed by Mike Brown from the Golden States Warriors. He is looking forward to meeting the minister. He understood very clearly with his team that the minister had to stay for more urgent national matters but he asked me specifically to send a very personal message.

“As we all know, Brown is one of the best coaches in the world, but additionally, I came to personally thank the Minister for allowing the Permanent Secretary to also represent him in Kigali which he did ably. For us, it shows the support that we have consistently enjoyed from the ministry and the government and we look forward to the continued support.”

In his repose, the Minister commended the NBBF board for putting smiles on the faces of Nigerians as he declared that basketball has come to stay in Nigeria.

“Beyond football, Nigerians have talents and competence in other sports. Our ascendancy in basketball is no longer stoppable. It has been proven; we are African champions in both the men and women with both qualifying for the Olympics. It has never happened before. Beyond football and athletics, clearly, basketball as a game has arrived in this country and we are a dominant force in the world.

“We are happy because we are in the hands of good administrators and managers of our teams because beyond the talents we put together, you also need people to manage them. These are the people that have set their eyes on greater glory, podium performance and I am sure so many other Nigerians will join basketball revolution,” Dare said.

He seized the occasion to announce a partnership between the Federal Ministry of Sports and the NBBF to have at least one basketball court in each senatorial district across the country.

For him, it is essential that kids in the nooks and crannies of the country find an avenue to chase their dreams as well as targeting the long term dominance of Nigeria on the global stage.

He promised that under his watch, basketball will witness a revolution that will transcend the national team centred on objective grassroots basketball development.

“We hope to start a project to have at least one basketball court in at least one senatorial district in the country through private and public participation. That is a commitment that is being chaired by the NBBF and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

On when the project will likely start, Dare said, “By January, 2021, we should have a template of how this will run, how the funding will be received, how it will be implemented and how those our young ones in primary and secondary schools, villages and some of these senatorial districts can just stroll into a basketball court and make basketball a culture. That is what happens in America.”