BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Abuja –

The President of International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Africa Zone 3, Col Sam Ahmedu (rtd) has called on corporate organizations to come up with programmes that will help to develop talents in the youths and to promote sports at the grassroots.

Ahmedu who is also a board member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) stated this at the 4th edition of the Power Forward Initiative basketball programme aimed at imparting leadership and lifestyle skills on the youth promoted by retired American basketball player, Jerome Williams. He said any programme which is scheduled towards grassroots sports development should be given the necessary support by all.

He said, “Any event that is geared towards the grassroots is very good because without the development of grassroots basketball, the sport cannot move in the direction it wants to go. It is good for these kids and as you can see, they have very excited to be part of the programme. I want to appeal to the kids to take advantage of this opportunities which do not come all the time especially in our environment where sponsors of good programme like this are very hard to come by. They should try to learnt one or two things and not just be part of the crowd or spectators. Of course, they had fun but they should go back home with the knowledge of basketball in their mind which will take them to the next level.  They should not just stop here but practice what they have been taught here.”

He urged sponsors to design programmes that will promote sports generally in Nigerian youths at all times.

“I want to appeal to other corporate organizations to emulate what the sponsors of this event have done to upgrade these kids although there are other companies that are assisting the youths like Nestle, Mobil, Shell, Total but what we have witnessed here today is on a grand scale and it is projected at a particular target group. So others should emulate them and not necessarily only in basketball, it can be soccer, volleyball because in the end we are interested in the development of our youths,” he added.