Following the gains of the previous National Secondary Schools Basketball Championship, the sponsor, Nestle Milo, has decided to increase the number of participating schools to 7,000, when the 16th edition of the competition gets underway next month.
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Dharnesh Gordhon, made the confirmation on Wednesday at a press conference held in Lagos.
He said the company is glad to be associated with the development in the sport has achieved in the recent years and welcomed the idea to increase it's scope and accommodate many more talents discovered. "Our belief that sports serves as a suitable platform for youths to imbibe important values such as - honesty, teamwork, fair play, respect, adherence to rules, discipline and resilience-has been the motivating factor behind our commitment," he stated.
This year's championship, tagged 'Slam Like a Champ' will accommodate schools from all the 36 states and Abuja. As customary, state preliminaries are to run to determine each state's champion. These champions will then be grouped into conferences and will represent their states and will represent their states in the conferences. The winner of each conference qualifies for the national finals to be held in Lagos later in the year.
There will be four conferences namely, Atlantic conference in Asaba, Savanna conference in Kaduna, Central conference in Akure and Western conference in Ibadan.
Cash awards and gift would be won at the end of every conference and 12 teams will converge at the National Stadium in Lagos for the grand finale. There is a guaranteed sum of N200,000 for every team participating in the final and the overall winner will receive additional N150,000 while second and third placed teams will go home with N120,000 and N100,000 respectively.
The Managing Director also disclosed that there will be a special training camp after the event for players that have distinguished themselves during the competition."Milo in conjunction with Giants of Africa and some NBA players from USA will organise this unique basketball training programme called 'Nestle Milo Top 50' camp," he explained.