NBA to help grow and strengthen Nigerian basketball ecosystem – Assistant Commissioner, Tatum | The Guardian Nigeria News

Efforts to improve the game of basketball in Nigeria received a big boost with the visit of National Basketball Association (NBA) Assistant Commissioner Mark Tatum to Lagos.

At the event announcing the NBA Deputy Commissioner’s trip to the country, NBA leaders reiterated their commitment to providing more boys and girls in Nigeria with opportunities to learn the fundamentals and values fundamentals of the game, and to help develop and strengthen the Nigerian basketball ecosystem.

Attending the occasion were the senior ranks of NBA Africa, which included NBA Africa General Manager Victor Williams; NBA Africa Vice President and Nigeria National Officer Gbemisola Abudu and Basketball Africa League President Amadou Gallo Fall.

Speaking at the event, Tatum said Nigeria is a country well endowed with vast talents as evidenced by legend Hakeem Olajuwon and other Nigerians, who have taken the game of NBA Basketball in America by storm. .

“While we just opened an office here this year, Nigeria has been an important market for the NBA for decades, ever since Hall of Famers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson held basketball clinics here in 1971.

“And you cannot overestimate Nigeria’s incredible basketball talent and impact on the league. From Hakeem Olajuwon, who was selected with the number one pick in the 1984 NBA draft, to six Nigerian players on NBA rosters this season, from two-time NBA Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo, who of course is of Nigerian descent.

“We opened an office in Lagos because we believe there are huge opportunities for the NBA in Nigeria and the continued growth of basketball here can be a catalyst for the rest of the continent.

“We want to help accelerate the growth of basketball and help develop an environment where Nigerian youth have a predictable path to learn the game and maximize their potential,” he said.

According to NBA Vice President Africa and Country Manager for Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu, “When we say we are investing in Nigeria, that is exactly what we are doing. We invest from a human capacity perspective, ensuring our fans can experience the NBA. This is very important and shows our commitment to the country.

While explaining the benefits of Tatum’s visit, NBA Africa General Manager Victor Williams said, “The NBA Deputy Commissioner is here this week, along with a delegation of other NBA executives, and it demonstrates our continued commitment to growing the game of basketball in Nigeria, strengthening the basketball ecosystem, connecting with our fans, and growing the NBA brand and business in Nigeria.

“Nigeria is already making a significant contribution to the NBA in terms of players, coaches, executives and leaders at all levels, so this is a really big and significant market for the NBA in Africa and we are really excited. to be here this weekend to spend time in the country, meet with various stakeholders and promote what the NBA is looking to do in Nigeria.

To Basketball Africa League (BAL) President Amadou Gallo Fall, “The second season of BAL, broadcast in 215 countries and territories, featured 12 of the best club teams from across the continent and demonstrated just how much there is has talent and passion for basketball in Africa.

“We are delighted with the momentum we are seeing building across the continent as we prepare for another exciting season. Yesterday, FIBA ​​Africa conducted the Road to the BAL’s Elite 16 Qualifying Tournament draw. and we can’t wait to find out which teams will be competing in the BAL next year.

“Nigeria has a rich basketball culture and tradition, and we are delighted that Nigerian teams can once again compete in international competitions.”

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