By Jacob Ajom
Arrangements are on for the staging of the 28th edition of the Mini Basket Piazza in Italy, holding between June 16 and 22. Sixty three countries, including Nigeria will take part in the event which is meant for kids of between 8 and 12 years old.
Nigeria’s participation, however, hangs in the balance due to lack of funds. Coordinator of Impact Kiddies Basketball, Joel Adams who is responsible for organising the Nigerian team to the event said money was a big problem. “We require at least N10m for the trip but as we speak, we are yet to get responses to our appeals,” Joel said, adding that the kids they have already assembled could make the country proud in Italy.
Nigeria will be represented at the week-long event by a mixed team of12 kids, made up of boys and girls, three coaches and head of delegation.
Joel disclosed that he has been coordinating Nigeria’s participation in the tournament in the past five years. “But in the last two years we have not been going. In the past it has been children of rich parents who always paid their way to Italy. But each time they went we don’t win anything. That is not what our participation was out to achieve. We need laurels and glory for our fatherland. That is why I went to public schools and picked this group. These are children of poor parents. They need help.”