President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Tijjani Umar has said that he does not expect the on-going Nigeria University Games (NUGA) to produce any basketball talent for the country..
Umar, argued that most of the players doing battle at the NUGA games holding at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Osun State “are known faces already”.
Umar who spoke on the scouting of talents at the games said many of the basketballers in the universities are already featuring in the federation’s league competitions.
“There is no new basketball talent that we will say we want to get from the NUGA Games, because they are already part of us.
Some of them are playing for clubs in the DStv Men’s League, while some are playing in the Zenith Bank Women’s League and some are even in the national teams,’’ the NBBF president said.
NAN reports that the 24th edition of the Games is holding at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife from February 12 to 22. Basketball is one of the 15 sports featuring at the 10-day event.
Meanwhile Ile-Ife has come alive as the Games entered its third day yesterday. According to A NUGA Council member, Cecilia Arinye, the arrival of student-athletes to the ancient town of Oranmiyan had raised the socio-economic activities of the people, noting that the town was now bubbling with Games activities.
“With over 10,000 student-athletes and massive investment in infrastructure development of the community, the town is in for good tidings. With the huge amount already expended for the event by the Local Organising Committee, it is expected that the expenditure will have a ripple effect on the entire environment,” Arinye said.
According to her, Ile-Ife is agog with colourful displays, bright faces, brilliant speeches, broad smiles and loud cheers of athletes, officials and sports enthusiasts as the biennial Games kicked off in fanfare.
She said that with the reality of the several postponed event, the students heaved sighs of relief which was depicted in their expressions and exchange of warm banters.
“Some of them hoped to use the event as a launching pad to the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, so, staging the event now is an advantage.
Many of the student-athletes had in the past used the competition to get to the bigger stage in various sports, while the chances are still available for the upcoming ones,” she said.