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The leadership of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has condemned attempts to blackmail the federation into making a hasty decision over its continental representation at the 2017 FIBA Africa club championship.

The comment is sequel to the protest letters by two clubs, the Kano Pillars and Gombe Bulls. The two basketball clubs reportedly petitioned the Secretary General of the continental body, FIBA Africa and copied the Nigerian National Assembly.

But in a communiqué signed by its President, Musa Kida, the NBBF described the petitions as “mere smear campaign against the NBBF for no justifiable reason.”

The federation described the two petitions which were published in the media as attempts to ambush the NBBF and portray its board in bad light before the basketball community and the world.

According to Kida, “The NBBF recognizes the right of all its affiliates and individuals to seek redress whenever the need arises.


“It is against all norms of established protocol for a club to write a petition to an international body without first discussing the matter involved with its national federation or at the least copy its petition to the body and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) on the subject matter.”

According to the press statement from the NBBF, Kida linked the episode to the antagonistic stance of the former NBBF Board led by Tijani Umar over their refusal to cooperate with the new board in line with their agenda to remain in office after completing his term of eight years in office.

“The two teams involved are all supporters of the antics of the former president of the NBBF Board who has refused to hand over to the new board. Kano Pillars are operating from Kano which is the adopted “Headquarters” of the former NBBF Board, while Gombe, home of Gombe Bulls, is the base the former President who was elected onto the last board from the North East Zone.

Explaining the genesis of the problem, Kida said “After the National Sports Federations election and the subsequent swearing in of the Board on 21st July, 2017, the board permitted the former Board to conclude the regular season of the Premier Basketball League so as not to disrupt the programme which had already started before it was sworn in, with a directive to hand over at the end of the regular  Season  preceding the Final 6 whose fixtures at the time had not been drawn since no one was sure of the qualifiers then.

“When the regular Season came to an end, rather than comply with the NBBF’s directive, the out gone Board invited all the qualified clubs to Ilorin and Kano for the Atlantic and Savannah Conference Final 6 Tournaments respectively.”


The NBBF president explained that “without recourse to the NBBF which apart from being recognized by the Federal Government, the NOC and the FIBA letter dated 26th July, 2017, the former board led by Tijani Umar defied the new board’s directive by enticing clubs for the National Final 8 based on monetary inducements from monies received from a sponsor for the Nigerian Premier Basketball League which however found its way into private accounts.”

Kida explained that despite several acts of defiance, the NBBF was still magnanimous enough to write a letter to the clubs with a deadline of 9th October, 2017 to explain why disciplinary actions should not be taken against them for defying the federation.

“As at today only Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club of Port Harcourt have replied to the query issued, while others, including Kano Pillars and Gombe Bulls have refused to reply, thus defying the NBBF’s directive once again.

In the case of Kano Pillars and Gombe Bulls, they have taken the matter to the National Assembly while orchestrating a campaign of calumny in the media and other strata of Nigerian life against the NBBF.”

Kida wondered why Tijani Umar and his cronies chose to create a faction out of all the 34 National Federations whose elections were conducted under the supervision of the NOC and the subsequent inauguration of the authentic Boards by the Minister for Youths & Sports, Solomon Dalung.


Meanwhile, the NBBF will decide on several issues, including its representatives in the FIBA Zone 3   Champions Cup Qualifiers for Men within the next few days, taking into consideration all the attendant issues that will ensure the best for basketball in Nigeria.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Nigeria’s Rivers Hoopers Advance to 2024 BAL Playoffs



Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards 

 Nigeria’ Rivers Hoopers beat Rwanda’s Armée Patriotique Rwandaise (APR) 78-71 in the first-ever BAL ( double-overtime game and became the first Sahara Conference team to clinch a spot in the BAL Playoffs which are set to tip off at BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda on May 24.
Five Hoopers players scored in double digits with Devine Eke (18 points, 18 rebounds) and Peter Olisemeka (17 points, 19 rebounds) dominating the boards as well. Will Perry added 11 points and seven assists in a low scoring affair in which both teams shot less than 40 percent from the floor.    
Jean Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza led APR with 16 points and five rebounds, while Dario Hunt finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Going into today’s matchups, APR is currently second in the Sahara Conference and will look to secure a postseason berth when they take on Senegal’s AS Douanes (4th place with 2 wins and 3 losses) this evening.
In the second game of the day, the 2022 BAL champions Tunisia’s US Monastir kept their playoff hopes alive, defeating AS Douanes 75-69 and getting their second straight win in the competition. This is a turnaround for the Tunisian champions who started the Sahara Conference from three straight defeats, but now stand one win away from the postseason. Chris Crawford led Monastir with 18 points and seven assists, Oussama Marnaoui scored 16, and Firas Lahyani finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Abdoulaye Harouna led the Douanes with 22 points, with Adama Diakhite adding 14 points and nine rebounds.
APR, AS Douanes and US Monastir will compete for the last two playoff spots when the Sahara Conference concludes this afternoon – Rivers Hoopers will take on US Monastir at 2:30 p.m. GMT and AS Douanes will face APR at 5:30 p.m. GMT.    

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Basketball Africa League (BAL).

Basketball Africa League (BAL)

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The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has once again reaffirmed Musa Kida as the sole President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).

This was contained in its latest letter dated 18th December and addressed to the Secretary General of the Nigeria Olympics Committee, Chief Tunde Popoola who had written to the apex world basketball governing body on the need to name the “eligible representative of the NBBF who will be at the (Nigerian Olympic Committee) (NOC) elective AGM and to vote” in Yola.

FIBA through its newly appointed Secretary General, Andreas Zaglis in their response said “FIBA has communicated with the board of Mr Kida concerning the affairs of the NBBF since July 2017 and has organized FIBA events with the same board’s assistance.”

“Besides, FIBA notes that good progress is being made in regularizing fully the NBBF-FIBA relationship, which remains an internal matter of the basketball family, since the NBBF is not suspended and enjoy full rights as a member,” FIBA continued.

FIBA explained that having earlier received a letter from the NOC recognizing the board elected on the 13th of June 2017 in Abuja and the recent memo of the Federal Ministry of Youth Sports Development revalidating Kida and his board, the international body has deemed it fit to accord the board all the necessary recognition.

Letter from FIDA

The latest letter which finally put paid to insinuations in different quarters over who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria expressly named Kida who recently bagged a Doctorate Degree in Credit Management.

The letter granting Kida (or a validly nominated delegate of his) therefore nullified the earlier erroneous pronouncement of the NOC electoral committee chaired by Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima that no board had been recognized by FIBA as the legitimate basketball federation.

With FIBA’s position clearly stated on who is in charge of basketball administration in Nigeria, Engr. (Dr) Musa Kida called on all basketball stakeholders to join hands and contribute meaningfully to basketball growth.

He said despite the recent landmark achievements recorded by the board since its assumption of office, more ground could have been covered especially at the home front if not the incessant distractions.

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D’Tigress captain, Evelyn Akhator has described her double awards at this year’s Nigerian Sports Awards as amazing.

The professional basketball athlete, who plays for the Turkish side Besiktas, stole the show by winning both the Basketball Player of the Year and Sportswoman of the Year categories at the 2018 Nigerian Sports Award held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island in Lagos on Friday.

The 2017 Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) third overall pick by Dallas Wings warded off opposition from Odunayo Adekuoroye and Simidele Adeagbo to win the Sportswoman of the Year category. She also beat male basketball player, Ike Diogu and fellow teammate, Adora Elonu to clinch the Basketball Player of the Year award.

The Lagos-born basketball star was elated for winning the awards, describing her mum as a role model and thanked all her supporters who voted for her.

“Picking up the Basketball player of the year and Sportswoman of the year 2018 @ngrsportsaward was truly amazing for me. Where I am today is down to my role model, my mum who always gave me confidence to go out and conquer. I know she is looking down on me with joy. Thank you to all my supporters who voted for me,” Akhator said.

It was also a glorious night for the basketball community as the D’ Tigress crowning it all with the Team of the Year award.

The glamorous award gala saw Aruna Quadri crowned the winner of Sportsman of the Year award while Ahmed Musa emerged the football of the Year.

The seventh edition of the award saw the River State Governor, Nyesom Wike emerged winner for his unflinching commitment to sports as the Governor of the year.

The President of Badminton Federation of the Year, Mr. Francis Orbih picked up the crown for the Sports Administrator of the Year.

The Racket Sportsperson of the Year award went to ace badminton player Yemisi Olatunji and the track and field star of the year award was won by ace sprinter, Tobiloba Amusan.

The Para Sports Person of the Year award went to top para powerlifter, Commonwealth gold medalist and world record holder Esther Oyema.

For the Team Sports Person of the year, a member of the historic Bobsled team which represented Nigeria at the recently concluded winter Olympics, Seun Adigun emerged the winner.

The Wrestler of the Year went to Odunayo Adekuroye while the Nigerian Para Power-Lifting Coach, Are Feyisetan emerged winner for the Coach of the Year. The Discovery of the Year category was handed to Joy Udoh-Gabriel.

In the Journalism category, George Essien of Comfort Radio in Uyo, Akwa Ibom emerged the Radio Sports Presenter of the Year while the Journalist of the Year for Print category and Photojournalist of the Year were won by Gowon Akpodonor of the Guardian newspapers and Akeem Salau of Vanguard newspapers respectively



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