*As Zenith bank assures on women’s league
Following its Extra Ordinary Board meeting at the Board room of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC in Lagos Tuesday after the press briefing to usher in the 2013/2014 DStv Premier Basketball league, the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF took some decisions aimed at improving the basketball league.
The NBBF resolved to work with teams sponsors and stakeholders in the league to introduce players insurance and uniform contract document from the 2014/2015 season.
It agreed also that the Premier League should be open to allow Nigerian and foreign players from international leagues to play in our local leagues in order to deepen and fast-track the development of our leagues.
The federation felt perturbed about the level of talent exodus from the country and resolved to engage all concerned locally and internationally to stem the tide.
It also resolved to improve liaison with and oversight over affiliate associations to ensure adequate flow of information and even development from bottom to top. Lastly, the Board agreed that one of the immediate solutions to talent exodus will be the sustainable development of the local programmes and leagues especially by creating an environment where players are properly insured to safeguard their well-being and career and by creation of a celebrity status by the media around the stars in our leagues thereby exposing them to endorsement opportunities for companies and thereby improving their income and taking away the attraction to play elsewhere.
Meanwhile NBBF Wednesday in Lagos got a reassuring promise from the Zenith Bank management that the sponsorship of the national women’s league will continue after 10 years of partnership with the federation.
The reassurance came from no less a person than the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Godwin Emefiele who received a delegation of the Board who presented the Champions of the Zenith Bank League, First Deep Water Basketball Club of Lagos to the management.
According to Emefiele, “we are impressed with the development of the game and assure you that the sponsorship will continue,” as he hoped the team led by their coach, Lateef Erinfolami would retain their title this year.
Also speaking at the reception of which held inside the boardroom of the bank’s headquarters in Lagos, Executive director, Ebenezar Onyeagu who stood in for the Managing Director, thanked the NBBF for accepting to partner with the bank, stressing that “whatever we do, we do with a deep sense of responsibility.”
He added that “the league is growing and expanding while the players are getting international and regional exposure” as he commended the NBBF president, Tijjani Umar for his exemplary leadership which has assured the growth of the sport in the country.
In his response, Umar pleaded for more support from Zenith bank for the league as more teams now play in the league as he thanked the bank for their support in the last 10 years, adding that he hopes the sponsorship will continue and in a bigger form.