The NBA Africa VP and Country Head of Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu, has said the association is determined to create a pathway to develop more basketballers from Nigeria while influencing the ecosystem.
Speaking during the sidelines of the 9th edition of the Power Forward program at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, Abudu said NBA has a scouting network in Nigeria that is into talent identification.
“We have a scouting network in Nigeria who are into talent identification. When we see someone with potential, we have a path they can follow. We have participants from this program who have gone up to play college basketball. The majority of them have taken up the educational route.
“We are here to influence the basketball ecosystem here in Nigeria, to work closely with the ministry and federation. We are creating a very defined pathway from when a child bounces the basketball to when he wants to play professionally. We have Basketball Africa League we have started and it’s creating a pathway for Nigerians to play if that is the path they decide to choose,” she said.
Speaking further, she said the Power Forward, a youth development initiative of ExxonMobil, NBA Africa and the international NGO PanAfricare teaches health literacy (malaria prevention and hygiene promotion) and life skills such as leadership, respect and personal responsibility through basketball and other programming to positively impact Nigerian secondary school students in FCT.
“In the past years, the programme has been focused in Abuja and the 200,000 youths are within FCT but the plan is to expand this to other geo-political zones in Nigeria.
“We look at the future of work skills as defined by the World Economic Forum that will shape them in the workplace in the next ten years such as communication skills, team coordination skills, leadership skills, and critical thinking. We are very intentional in our NBA curriculum and have that embedded in it,” she noted.
Meanwhile, Karu Lakers Winners defeated GSS Garki 21-13 to emerge winners in the male category while GSS Karu defeated Raberto Secondary School 33-9 to emerge winners in the female category.
In the same vein, GSS Karu Divine Okebe and Cecilia Sunday both from GSS Karu emerged as the MVP boys and girls respectively.