The Tijani Umar-led Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board on Thursday inaugurated an interim League Management Board (LMB) to administer the Nigerian Premier Basketball League sponsored by Kwese Sports.
Umar inaugurated the board at the opening ceremony of the pre-season training for basketball technical officials in Abuja.
The 2018 Kwese Premier Basketball League season is expected to start on May 6.
While speaking at the inauguration, Umar said it was imperative to set up a viable league for Nigeria’s basketball.
He then urged club officials, coaches, and other stakeholders to continue to support the development of basketball.
“The future of Nigerian basketball is safe. Our administration has succeeded in building a sustainable future for the game.
“So, I urge you to continue to work hard for basketball. Play it, love it, defend it and support it. We will never hand over Nigeria’s basketball to international crooks.
“It is not going to happen and we will not allow that.
“Basketball is safe in our hands because we have a very secured and sustainable succession programme.
“We have assembled a team of young and ready basketball enthusiasts, who have all paid their dues in the game of basketball.
“They are the ones we have lined up for us to just move out for them to takeover,” Umar said.
The basketball LMB is headed by Olumide Oyedeji, a former captain of the Nigerian national basketball team, D’Tigers.
Speaking at the event, Oyedeji said his decision to take up the responsibility was to give back to basketball.
“I want to say here without mincing words that I am not here to hold on to basketball.
“We’ve established ourselves in our chosen career and got to the level where we don’t need to come back to basketball again but to give back to basketball.
“We are not in basketball to hold it as a business to either help our families or assign portfolio to brothers and friends.
“We are holding it now on your behalf and take it to where God has destined it to be. Nigeria’s basketball has a lot of potential and I want to urge all to stay focused and be consistent,” he said.
LMB has Skambo Morrison in charge of basketball operations, Ajibarede Bello as technical administrator and Patrick Omorodion as director of media.
While the inauguration was ongoing in Abuja, the Musa Kida-led NBBF was signing a sponsorship deal for the National Division One and Two Leagues in Lagos