From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Jordan Nwora Foundation (JNF) has organised a three-day Elite Basketball Camp, holding Sunday, July 24 – Tuesday, July 26, 2022 in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, in readiness to partner the state government in basketball development.
The elite basketball camp is organised for the country’s North Central geo-political zone, in order to train children and coaches for the game of basketball for a healthy lifestyle.
The President JNF, Mr Anthony Nwora, stated this on Saturday at a special reception held in honour of the foundation and its members in Lafia, by the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, in conjunction with the Andoma Basketball Foundation.
According to him, the choice of the state was due to the progress the state has made so far in basketball and the interest shown by the state government in sporting development.
Nwora explained that the foundation relies on the use of the power sport to improve the lives of underprivileged children in the United States and Africa, thus the training.
“Nasarawa State has been a welcoming state for such an adventure like basketball and we are happy to be here. We hope that the state will partner with us as we hope to make this a yearly event so that we can advance.
“We have brought coaches from the United States, after teaching the game, we will also train coaches that will sustain those training for the kids because we cannot be here all the time but for the time that we have gone, they will continue the legacy that we left behind until we come the following year.
“We also do not have a fixed number of kids we want to train because there are so many hidden talents and we are looking for those that are committed to learn the game to expose them to education,” Nwora said.
He, however, explained that the foundation does not offer scholarships to trainees but will expose them to better opportunities such as better schools in the United States and teach them the game of basketball.
Also speaking, President, Federation of International Basketball Africa Zone 3, Col Samuel Ahmedu (Rtd) said apart from learning how to play basketball, the kids will also learn life skills as the need to stay in school, build confidence and why education is important for growth and development of the society.
“This is an opportunity for Nasarawa State to identify its future players and leaders in the sense that the state may have people who are already fading out and this is a period to begin to identify areas that need to be replaced. Some will play for Nigeria.
“We will take their statistics, identify where they are strong and where they can improve,” he said.
The Assistant Coach at Niagara Community College, New York City, Mr Nicolas Sepe, said Nasarawa State was endowed with an array of talents that can rule the basketball world which was what necessitated the team’s choice of the North-Central State.
On her part, Omowunmi Saliu Rafiu, who is a Director at the University of Delaware, USA, called on parents to encourage their wards, especially females to participate in the training.
She said the future of basketball was in women, who have got all it takes to perform well, both in Nigeria and abroad.
Responding on behalf of the state government, the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Lucky Yargwa said the state was ready to partner with the foundation, in order to harness hidden talents which abound in the state.
Yargwa noted that the state Governor, Abdullahi Sule has created enabling environment for all investors to come and invest in the state.
“It has been this administration’s aim to harness and develop talents for podium appearance, but the government is over-burdened and overstretched with numerous other activities, making it pretty difficult to actualize all our set goals.
“But with your coming today, it’s a huge burden taken off, partly, from the government.
“Our principal, the Governor, Engr Abdullahi Sule, continues to harp on partnership with relevant stakeholders and organisations to help achieve the ‘Exceeding All Expectations’ mantra, and there is no better way to this than we are witnessing today.
“The beauty about this is the fact that it deals with a sport other than football, which is part of this administration’s aim, to diversify the sports industry,” he said.
He appreciated the foundation for choosing Nasarawa state for the basketball camp and assured of the government support to ensure the success of the event.
The Voice reports that JNF is established in honour of Jordan Ifeanyi Nwora, who is an international basketball player who plays for Nigeria’s men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, as well as professionally for Milwaukee Bucks in the United States of America.
The Voice also reports that the team also paid homage to the paramount ruler of Doma kingdom, Andoma of Doma, Alhaji Ahmadu Aliyu-Ogah, who is also the patron of basketball in the North Central zone.
Highlight of the visit was the conferment of chieftaincy titles by the Andoma of Doma and subsequent turbanning of Jordan Nwora as Osamanda Giga Gi’Doma (Sports Ambassador of Doma Land); Spencer Gervasa as Osamanda Ga’yibo Nyakwu Gi’Doma (Amb. of USA 1 in Doma Land) and Nicolas Sepe as Osamanda Ga’yibo Kenge Gi’Doma (Junior Amb. of USA in Doma Land).