Lagos Basketball Classics Begins

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Mobolaji Johnson Sports Centre, Rowe Park comes alive as the Lagos International Basketball Classics dunks off today.

Beside hosts Nigeria, teams from other African countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Senegal and Benin are expected to be part of the three-day tournament.

According to the chairman, Lagos State Basketball Association, Babs Ogunade, all is set for the commencement of the  $12,000 prize money tournament with teams competing in two events – junior and senior.

“The tournament is going to be the 3×3 format, which is a departure from regular full-court basketball. 3×3, previously known as FIBA 33, is a formalised version of three-on-three basketball. It is a form of the game initially developed on inner-city asphalt outdoor courts in the United States. With over 250 million players worldwide and among the most played recreational sports in the world, 3×3 will become a key motor for the growth of basketball. This variant of the sport is promoted by the FIBA, which began developing it in 2007. The format was first tested at the 2007 Asian Indoor Games in Macau, introduced at international level at the 2009 Asian Youth Games in Singapore, and made its worldwide competitive debut at the 2010 Youth Olympics, also in Singapore,” he said.

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He added that winners from the tournament would use it to mop up points that would qualify them for the World Championship.

He explained further that the junior teams are expected to use the tournament to acquaint the players with the new style of competition.

No fewer than 24 teams are expected to take part in the tournament with the top eight teams get prize money for their efforts in the senior category.