27 June 2013

Nigeria: Ugboaja Tasks NBBF On Exposure of Home-Based Players

Ex-D'Tigers player Ejike Ugboaja, who represented Nigeria at the London 2012 Olympics, yesterday charged the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) to look inwards in selecting players for international tournaments.
Ugboaja, a former player with Union Bank of Lagos and a 2006 NBA draft with Cleveland Cavaliers in the U.S., disclosed this in a chat in Lagos.
He said that the NBBF should focus more attention on players in the national league, rather than giving preference to professional players. "The NBBF is not allowing home-based players to develop as there is too much reliance on foreign professionals.
"There is so much reliance on foreign players for international competitions and this is killing the game at home.
"The worst part of it is that most of these Nigerian foreign players were not even familiar with the Nigeria terrain.
"They know they have Nigerian parents but they have never seen or come home to their fatherland because they were born and raised overseas," he said.
According to Ugboaja, once the NBBF sees a Nigerian doing well overseas, the federation goes over to meet him and try to persuade him to come and play for the country.
"It is so appalling when the league board goes searching for foreign professionals when they can develop home-based players by engaging them in friendly and serious competitions at home," he said.
Ugboaja suggested that players in the DStv/League should be respected and allowed to feature at the continental level, because they understand the physical nature of continental competitions.
According to him, he has since 2010 been running a foundation in Abuja for kids who want to pursue a career in basketball or American Football in the U.S.
The proprietor said that 400 participants registered with the foundation, this year. NAN

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