20th September, 2010
A passionate appeal has gone out to the administrators of basketball in Nigeria to saveÂ the game from extinction.
The appeal is coming from a basketball player, Arinze Nelly, a point-guard for aÂ professional basketball club, Raptors.
He said the administrators of the sport have not done enough to move the game forward,Â arguing that with the right attitude from them, the sport has the potential to developÂ Â more than what the country has now.
Speaking with P.M.Sports at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria, the playerÂ said the fortunes of the sport would have been better if the administrators have the loveÂ of the game at heart.
He urged the Federal Government to compel individuals and corporate bodies in the countryÂ to set up basketball clubs that would participate in the Premier League. In his opinion,Â such effort would help discover and nurture basketball players in the country.
â€œIf only the government could establish more basketball clubs in the cities and put moreÂ effort into the publicity of the game,Â people will stop seeing the sport as ordinaryâ€.
The basketballer believes the government concentrates solely on football, abandoningÂ other sports. This is also evident in the dwindling fortunes that other sports haveÂ suffered in recent times.
Nelly admonished the Federal Government for abandoning the U-17 basketball team, who areÂ expected to be playing friendly games to intensify their preparation for championships.
He said: â€œwe need the U-17 team and also the leagues in order to help improve the game inÂ Nigeriaâ€.
He concluded: â€œbasketball is a lifely game and should be allowed to go into extinction.Â Iâ€™m also appealing on behalf of other sports, they should be looked intoâ€.