January 27, 2023

Power Forward gets rave review

…As GSS Karu win boys, girls B’ball championship tourney in FCT

By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The 2022 Power Forward finals has been hailed for its impact on youth development following the successful completion of its ninth edition in Abuja, the country’s capital city.

Power Forward, a youth development initiative of ExxonMobil, the National Basketball Association and international non-governmental body – Africare, teaches prevention and hygiene promotion.

It also seeks to inculcate life skills such as leadership, respect and personal responsibility in secondary school students in FCT through basketball and other relevant programming.

The event, which took place in Abuja on Thursday, included a basketball clinic with former NBA player Cedric Ceballo, community outreach as well as the boys and girls final games of the 2022 Power Forward basketball season which held at the National Stadium, Abuja.

Students from 40 secondary schools made up 42 teams (30 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams modelled after the NBA and WNBA respectively) played 105 games in the ninth season of the Power Forward Basketball League.

Government Secondary School, Karu defeated Government Secondary School, Garki and Raberto Schools, Wuse II, to win the boys and girls categories respectively.

Speaking, the NBA Africa Vice President and Country Head, NBA Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu, said: “Apart from talent identification, part of what we’re doing is creating a very well defined pathway so that, from a very young age all the way to the elite level, anyone who is identified to have great potentials can follow up.”

In the same breath, the General Manager, ExxonMobil’s Business and Government Relations Office, Adedoyin Adelabu, explained that beyond promoting programmes that aim to enhance talent development in basketball, the organisation has supported creative and impactful initiatives to reduce the burden of malaria in the country.

“Statistics are important and you will hear them again. Since 2000, ExxonMobil committed more than $170 million in grants to the malaria cause, reaching more than 125 million people throughout Africa and Asia with over 15 million bed nets, 5.6 million doses of antimalarial drugs and more than four million rapid-diagnostic kits,” Adelabu stated.

Meanwhile, the PanAfricare Country Director for Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Adah, expressed optimism that the ‘Power Forward’ programme will continue to succeed.

On his part, Cedric Ceballo said the great thing about team sports like basketball is that players have to communicate, get along with one another, be either a leader or a great thing participant.