Lagos – Ayo Bakare, Technical Director, Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) on Tuesday in Lagos said that organising regular junior basketball championships in secondary schools would facilitate the discovery of talents.
Bakare made the assertion in an interview while reviewing the 15th Akofa Ivy Private Secondary Schools Basketball Championships which ended on Monday.
The competition at which 26 secondary schools participated in held at Avi Cenna International School, Ikeja, Lagos.
Bakare said that the junior league would serve as a developmental programme where new talents would be discovered.
“I am happy about the Akofa Ivy League; the young players I have seen here are good enough to feature in the U-16 national teams.
“The federation is committed to supporting grassroots programmes of this nature and we hope more of this can be sponsored by other private individuals and groups,’’ Bakare said.
The organiser of the league, John Faniran, said that he was proud of the standard of the competition, especially in the female cadre.
“The male and female winners will be going to Europe for a summer tournament in Belgium and Holland in August.
“I thank our esteemed sponsors, Honeywell Noodles and La-Tesern Pharmaceuticals, the Lagos State Basketball Association and the NBBF for their support.
“I also want to thank the 26 schools that featured in the competition that began on Feb. 8; it has been a competitive and successful competition,’’ Faniran said.
The International School, University of Lagos, Akoka, Yaba-Lagos, the defending champions, defeated Avi-Cenna International School, Lagos 39-34 points to emerge winners in the boys’ category.
Avi-Cenna, the defending champions in the girls’ category defeated Vivian Fowler International School, Ikeja 21-17 points to win.
In the girls third place match, International School, University of Lagos, defeated Queens College, Yaba, Lagos 10-9 points in overtime after a draw at regulation time.
Sound Hope Academy, Lagos, won the bronze medal for the boys with 31-24 points against White Sand School, Lekki.
Ruth Omotayo of Avi-Cenna, won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award in the girls’ category, while Chinonso Nwachukwu from the International School, Lagos claimed the MVP in the boys’ category. (NAN)