Former minister of internal affairs, Senator Abba Moro and Senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Red Chamber of National Assembly, Senator Philips Tanimu Aduda, applauded Igoche Mark for his Mark D’Ball Basketball Championship initiative.
The Senators who were some of the guests at the final of this year’s Mark D Ball Women Basketball Championship held at the Indoor Sports Hall of Moshood Abiola Stadium Abuja during the weekend, described Mark D Ball initiative as positive development that will improve the lot of the players in the country.
According to Abba Moro, Igoche Mark’s achievement with Mark D Ball is proof of his ability to do greater tasks both in basketball and Nigeria’s political life.
“What Igoche Mark has achieved with the programme, Mark D Ball, is a micro proof of his ability to do greater tasks, both in Basketball and the nation’s political life, “ Moro said.
Senator Philip Aduda on his part promised to partner Mark D Ball Basketball Championship organisers to better the lots of players in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nigeria in general.
He said the aim of partnering Mark D Ball Basketball is to sustain the competition and improve the lot of the players in the country.
“There’s the need to sustain this Mark D Ball Basketball Championship and develop the game in the FCT. Sustainability is key in the development of the game,”Aduda said.
“Basketball is a game that I’m in love with because I grew up playing it when we were in Zaria alongside SKambo Morrison. So, I commended the organizer of Mark D’Ball and I’ll partner with them to grow the game in FCT and Nigeria in general.”
Nigeria Customs Ladies defeated First Bank of Lagos 54-49 to win the cup and pocketed a N1 Million cash prize while the runners-up, First Bank, were rewarded N750,000.
Kada Angels of Kaduna on Friday evening edged Sunshine Angels of Akure 68-66 to win the losers final, and prize money of half a million Naira.
The team of the championship has Regina Donanu (MFM), Chidinma Okeke (Sunshine Angels), Ifunaya Okoro (Firstbank), Gift Ucheena (Kada Angels) and Nkem Akaraiwe (Nigeria Customs).
Nkem was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) while Iornumbe was recognized as the Most Defensive player (MDP) while Okeke received the award for the most assists in the tournament.
Uchenna, who is the only player to record 20+ rebounds in a single game was awarded the Highest Rebound as she also lead the tournament in rebounds.
Multiple musical award winner, 2Baba; Joel, Goya Menor, Daddy Showkey, MC Smart, Pastor Nicodemus, Chucks D General all performed live at the final ceremony which also served as the opening ceremony of the men’s championship which will run for 12 weeks and feature 24 teams.
According to the initiator of the Championships, Igoche Mark, the New Face of Basketball movement is geared towards revamping the fortunes of domestic basketball in Nigeria and making sure basketball does not remain docile again.
Mark called on all credible stakeholders to join hands with him to grow the domestic component of the game, to mirror top Basketball Championships like the European Basketball League, and the American NBA.
Draws for the men’s competition was conducted on Saturday just before the women’s final.