25 January 2007

NIGERIA : Ivy Basketball League Season Begins

The Ivy Basketball League for private secondary schools in Lagos and its environs has taken the jump ball with a total 19 schools featuring in the elite league now playing in its eighth season.

As part of the start off programme, the Chief Executive Officer of AKOFA Sports (organisers of the league) Mr. John Bimbo Faniran met with the media yesterday on the details for the 2007 season. By the schedule, the current season would feature just 19 schools as against nearly 30 that participated in some previous seasons.

"We arrived at that number because we cut down the schools for some reasons particularly on indiscipline while some of the schools could not provide the requisite basketball court.

"We are actually not looking for numbers but quality programme. This is not just competition but recreation and we are determined to give the best," Faniran said.

Last season the male champions Avi-Cenna International School had a playing opportunity in England against the England U-19 team amongst others. Offers, we leant, have come from England, South Africa.

The meeting was held at the corporate offices of Afrab Chem who are one of the corporate sponsors of the league. Another sponsor International Student Recruitment (ISR) UK Ltd announced that quality books would be donated to winning schools just as partial scholarship could also be given to some of the students.

"The league also encourages academic excellence and that is the angle want to work on," Samson Sanusi of ISR said.Cable television network DSTV would show some of the games in delayed relay as part of the initial arrangement towards partnership.

In the first match of the season hosts Dansol High School lost to Ronik Comprehensive School, Ejigbo 17-6 in the female category. Their boys also fell 31-16 to their counterpart from Dansol.

The final game of the league, which is on home and away basis, would be played on February 24th at the Avi-Cenna School, in GRA Ikeja.
By Pius Ayinor

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