25 June 2006

NIGERIA : On The Junior National Team

I think from past results we have shown that we dominate this competition and other age group tournaments in Africa. The last group of young talent we had in this competition were suberb. Such great young talents as Churchil Odia, Nurudeen Adepoju, Solomon Tat, Ejike Ugboaja, Stanley Gumut, Usman abubakar, Tunji Soroye have all turned out to be outstanding players and all playing good ball in various colleges or at club levels.

With this group we also have a group of kids very talented. From camps we have established with the top 50, bigman camps, Olumide Oyedeji camps, Milo High School Championships and clinics, the premier league, clubs, we have been able to discover a lot of young talent now in Nigeria and also younger kids from our programs playing in high school in the United States of America.

With the league getting in full swing, clubs and coaches have also done a great job playing youngerstars and giving them more exposure. We have seen this with guys like Michael Ohiero, Oseer Ikyaator,Frank Eze and George Ehigwana with the comets, Mbaram Omori,Ayodele Ahmed,Mohammed Bukar with the Warriors and Azeez Oladimeji and Temitope Ahmed of the Islanders. This kids will be a big part of our junior team that will represent Nigeria in South Africa come July and August.

We have also identify some of our outsandng youngstars playing in high school in the USA. Solomon Alabi, Joseph Katuka, Dele Coker, Emmanuel Negedu..etc.

We have made it clear that these players must be flown home in good time to compete and blend with the kids at home.

It is good to see coach Adeka Daudu get the oppurtunity to commandier a team in the African Championships. He has done a great job travelling round the country finding the right players. We had time to watch about four league games and access players and put a list together.

Our goal is not only to win the junior championships but to DOMINATE.

It is now left to the federation to bring the players together in a training camp environment to prepare for the tournament.

I'll continue to keep working hard to give the youth of Nigeria a chance to grow as people and as basketball players. Its increasingly becomes more difficult as my role continuues to increse withe Denver Nuggets.

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