9th August, 2010
President of Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, Tijjani Umar, has expressed the federationâ€™s gratitude to Masai Ujiri, Mobolaji Akiode and Olumide Oyedeji for their efforts to give back to the society through sport that brought them to the limelight.
At the reception and interactive session with the organisers, coaches and some 2010 giants of Africa campers and the media at the Lagoon Front, Victoria Island, Lagos, South West , Nigeria, the NBBF boss said the federation appreciated what Masai has been doing for Nigerian basketball in the last few years.
Umar also thanked the media for their support to the federation andÂ particularly praised Akiode, who organised programme for young girls in her â€˜Hope for Girlâ€™ project.
He, however, charged the National Basketball Association, NBA, to bring its programmes to Nigeria.
â€œNigeria Basketball Federation is willing to host NBAâ€™s programmes in the country and weâ€™ll ensure this objective is achieved, â€he said.
He noted that Basketball is more popular in Nigeria even more than in South Africa where NBA has its Africa office.
Masai in his response thanked the NBBF President, Vice President, Development, NBA Africa, Amadou Gallo Fall, local and foreign coaches who have been involved in the programme in the last 6 years and the media.
In his response, Gallo Fall said NBA is ready to sat down with NBBF to see how they could be of help in moving the game forward in Nigeria because the continent needs strong basketball players to represent it in the world championships.
He disclosed that NBA has planned to support African countries to further develop the game in their countries, noting that nations like South Africa, Senegal, Kenya and Angola have been penciled down as the starting point before moving to other countries.