23 May 2013

NIGERIA : Country Has Potentials to Be Africa's Top Basketball Nation - Ugboaja

A member of the Nigeria men's basketball team to the 2012 London Olympic Games, EjikeUgboaja has said that Nigeria has the potentials of becoming a leading basketball nation in Africa if the best are selected to represent the country.
The former Yelwa Hawks playmaker, who stated this in a chat with reporters in Abuja, said most times the national team is selected on sentiments, which makes it difficult for the country to overcome the likes of Senegal and Angola who have for long dominated African basketball.
According to him, Nigeria has a lot of local talents that can beat African giants and move on to challenge for top prizes in the world.
"The problem with the Nigerian basketball team is that most of the players are picked based on sentiment, but if we should pick our players on merit, Nigeria can produce a team of local players that can beat Angola.
"So, for us to move forward there is need to hire expatriate coaches from Europe and America to handle our national teams," he said.
Speaking further, Ugboaja said the annual Ejike Ugboaja Foundation clinic that has offered scholarship to 110 Nigerian kids will start in Uyo on June 2, while Otukpo and Abuja will take their turn June 9 and 16 respectively.
"I have a foundation that can give young people the opportunity to school in the US and it has been helping a lot of our kids back here in Nigeria.
"The foundation is about helping our kids Ugboaja to get education abroad and I have an opportunity through my career to get the people out there to listen to me, because I know that ordinarily, it will be difficult for anybody to get the opportunity to school in the US.
"This year's edition will start in Uyo on June 2, Otukpo will come up June 9 while the Abuja edition will hold June 16 to help select the best for the annual scholarship award.
"When I was playing here, there was nobody to help me to go there and that is while I established this foundation to basically help kids go out there and have education.
"The 110 kids so far picked have full scholarship and if they turn out to be good basketball players, they have bright opportunity of playing in the NBA," he concluded

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Is ejike trying to get back at ayo bakare? Why will you say the team needs foreign expatriates?
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