Basketball: NBBF hails Milo for 20 years of grassroots competition
May 11, 2018
Sam Ahmedu, a Board Member of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), on Friday urged corporate bodies to emulate Nestle Nig. Plc. which recently celebrated 20 years of organising basketball championships at the grassroots.
Ahmedu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Nestle basketball tournament at the grassroots had blossomed into a `spectacular theatre of dreams’ for many youngsters.
“We are very happy and can only render praises to its leadership; Nestle has supported basketball for 20 years and provided many youths the opportunity to showcase their talents.
“Due to Nestle Milo Basketball Championships, we have confidence that in many years to come, we will continue to discover more players for national teams and club sides,’’ he told NAN.
Similarly, the Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria Plc., Mauricio Alarcon, told NAN: “The motivation to keep doing what Nestle does is basically to see youths develop in the right manner.
“The youths are the core areas of our reach and we would do anything within our power to see that we bring the best out of them.
“Nestle Milo, as a prominent global brand, has been at the forefront of the development of grassroots sports in Nigeria for 20 years.
“We are very proud of this.’’
Alarcon said that the organisation had used the basketball championship as a metaphor to teach school children values such as determination, confidence, discipline, teamwork and respect.
“We are very proud of the many talents who have blossomed to local and international stars; we are forever committed to the future of children yet unborn,’’ Alarcon said.
NAN reports that no fewer than 9,000 schools across the 36 states and FCT took part in the 2018 edition.
The championship commenced earlier in the year with state preliminary games where, out of over 9,000 schools, 74 comprising boys and girls teams, qualified for the regional conferences.
The conference finals were held in Benin, Abuja, Ilorin, and Ibadan, over a period of four weeks.
The national finals were held in Lagos from May 3 to May 10, where six male teams and six female teams took part to challenge for national honours.
At the end, Father O’Connell Science College, Minna, and St. Jude’s Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Bayelsa, went home as champions of the tournament.
Both schools were the 2017 champions. Winning the championship back to back was a major achievement in the competition’s history.
The team from Bayelsa defeated Yejide Girls Grammar School, Ibadan, 47-21 points in the girls’ category while the Niger boys beat Gen. Murtala Muhammed College Yola, Adamawa, 60-59.
The first teams went home with N150, 000, sports kits and branded products from Nestle Milo, winners’ medals and their trophies.
The second placed teams from Oyo and Adamawa went home with N120,000, sports kits and branded products from Nestle Milo, and other consolation prices.
Tony Nelson, the Head Coach of the victorious Bayelsa team, told NAN that the victory was achieved with hard work and support of the school and the state.
“I use the opportunity to thank my players for their hard work; indeed it is a great thing to, once again, emerge as champions.
“We could not have done it without support from our management and the sport council of Bayelsa; indeed, it is a noteworthy achievement.
Emmanuel Tanko, the Head Coach of the victorious Niger team, attributed the team’s success to determination and discipline to achieve at the end.
“It is a great feeling to be crowned champions.
“I say a big thank you to Nestle Nigeria for the opportunity provided for this young ones to be discovered; indeed they are the future champions of the sport,’’ Tanko said.