The proprietor of Mark Mentors Basketball Club, of Abuja, Igoche Mark, has the applauded the minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare, for his foresight in organising the ongoing Nigeria Men’s Premier Basketball League Final 8 at the Indoor Sports Hall of Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, saying the competition has brought a sigh of relief to players, coaches and lovers of basketball game in the country.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the competition, Igoche said the real stakeholders of the game of basketball in the country can’t thank the minister enough for not allowing the game to die in the midst of the crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
He urged the minister not to relent in his efforts toward resolving the crisis.
“This is a wonderful event and the best I have seen in the last four years when it comes to basketball in Nigeria. We can’t thank and appreciate the minister of youth and sports enough for this initiative and not allowing the game of basketball to die in the midst of this crisis.
“If not him, we wouldn’t be here or having this tournament and the benefit of this Final 8 goes beyond seeing players playing in the basketball court, even the economic benefit alone. If you look around here it is like a mini carnival, it is a very welcome development. I thank and appreciate him.
“We also want to encourage him not to relent, he shouldn’t leave basketball alone because it is second to football in this country. He should try as much as possible to resolve the crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation and bring basketball back to where it used to be,” Igoche stated.
The Mark Mentors boss played down alleged interference of the minister of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, saying the minister has the right to organise Men Premier League Final 8 as a custodian of all sports in the country.
“How would someone say a minister is interfering in basketball when he is the custodian of all the sports in Nigeria. When you come to collect money to run your programme, the government is not interfering but when it comes to accountability or resolving the issue in the federation, you said the government is interfering, what is interfering in that. For me I don’t see any interference here. I think he is doing the right thing and we remain behind him in trying to solve the problem in basketball.”