Lagos- Masai Ujiri, Nigeria’s ex-international and General Manager, of the U.S.- based Toronto Raptors Basketball Franchise, on Tuesday said that he would continue to develop Nigerian youths in basketball.
Ujiri said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the sideline of the closing ceremony of the three- day Nestle Milo Giant of Africa Top 50 Basketball Camp.
The camp which began on Sunday, Dec. 7, was attended by participants from both the just-concluded Nestle Milo Basketball Championships and other academies in the country.
Ujiri told NAN that he was very satisfied with what he saw, adding that his job was to come and teach the fundamentals of the game.
He also promised to continue to keep a tab on the young talents discovered.
“We are blessed with enormous talents all over the country and with more grassroots programmes, we can get our young players to compete favourably at the international level.
“The participants gave good account of themselves, they were well motivated; they worked very hard to prove themselves; and were well behaved throughout the three-day camp.
“We will keep tracking the young talents discovered in this camp. A lot of them were noticed by the home-based coaches around.
“The foreign scouts that came with me were also impressed with what they saw. Indeed, the future is very bright if we continue doing our bits,” Ujiri told NAN.
Coach Scot Nnaji of Customs Basketball Club of Lagos, who was at the camp, told NAN that the kids were given the right mentoring to develop in the game.
He also said that the programme was not basically meant to take the kids abroad but for them to understand the fundamentals, the discipline, the rules and having the right mentality to succeed.
Coach Lateef Erinfolami of the Lagos Islanders Basketball Club said that the programme had the right organisation from the inputs by the coaches and the output by the players.
Coach Johnson Ayinla of Union Bank said that the young players received the fundamentals of the game which were the key toward their development in basketball.
He also said that with what they have learnt, they would make the job of the coaches easier and they would be able to fit into the game plans.
NAN reports that 10 players were chosen out of the 50 players as top players of the camp, while Bolaji Amilagba was named the most valuable player of the camp.
Nkidi Tena of St Jude Girls Secondary School, Amarata, Bayelsa and Hyjough Marian from Government Secondary School, Gboko, Benue were most encouraging female campers. (NAN)