By Gracious Akujobi
President of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Tijani Umar has said that proper funding and support would have saved Nigeria from its poor showing at the ongoing 2013 Women Afrobasket tournament.
D’ Tigress lost their quarterfinal match 77-74 against host Mozambique to crash out of the tournament. The Nigeria ladies managed to secure two wins against Kenya and Cape Verde out of five matches played in the group stage where they lost to Angola, Mali and Cameroon at the group stage of the tournament which dunked off on Sept. 20 in Maputo.
Umar told Prompt News Online in Abuja that Nigeria could go places with basketball if adequate fund was provided to carry out the developmental plans of the federation.
He also regretted that NBBF as an active sports Federation does not have a budget but survives with the little support it gets from the government and its sponsors
“NBBF does not have a budget in this country we are only trying to be creative by going to our partners and sponsors to get grants but I must confess that it is not enough for the Federation”
According to the NBBF boss, Nigeria was able to be represented in Maputo because of the federation’s personal effort and he reiterated the fact that countries that had succeeded in the game of Basketball did so through investments and long term planning.
“The national team of this country is full of talents but talent can only take you to a certain level. Beyond that, investment, preparation, sustainability in everything you do will be the one that will make you a champion”
“The staying power is that this country must strengthen the federations and put money where our mouth is; that is the simple thing” he stated.