By Lucky Isibor
The Edo State Basketball Association has resolved to take the development of the world’s second most popular sport to an enviable height in Edo State.
Rising from its maiden meeting on Friday, 30th June, 2017 in Benin City, the newly inaugurated Board of the Basketball Association said it would focus first on building the sports infrastructure to encourage budding talents.
Chairman of the Board, Mr. Michael Obaseki said its priority would be how to make Edo basketball great and relevant again in view of the fact that the sport offers life changing opportunities to players. He pointed out that basketball besides promoting competitive spirit among young players, it exposes them to several opportunities on the global sporting arena.
He assured that the new board would do all within its reach to mobilize support from good spirited individuals and corporate sponsors of the sport with a view to achieving the objective of the Governor Godwin Obaseki’s administration in sports promotion.
The Board Chairman who was reacting to the litany of challenges facing the sports in Edo State by the Head Coach of Edo Basketball Association, Mr. Victor Umoru, said the Board would take on every of the challenges on priority bases despite the limiting factor of funds availability.
Head Coach Umoru had listed absence of Basketball School Programme and lack of well organized and sponsored Basketball tournaments in the state as well as inadequate sporting facilities including playing pitches and balls etc, as the problems militating against the development of the sports in Edo state.
Coach Umoru whose views were corroborated by Mrs. Eunice Adebayo James, Director of Sports/Events, Benson Idahosa University (BIU) said the way forward for the sport in Edo was for the Board to encourage the return of school sports, the promotion of collegiate championships, provision of basketball courts across the State with greater emphasis on Benin City and the creation of youth friendly sports centres in strategic locations in the State capital.
The meeting which had other members of the Board in attendance before rising at about 1pm. Friday resolved to galvanize the youths and make them develop interest in the sports, to attract corporate sponsors for the sport as well as develop the capacity of the drivers of the sport in the State.