Otukpo (Benue- Mrs Helen Mark, wife of Nigeria’s Senate President David Mark has called on Nigerians especially the youth to always imbibe a sportsmanship attitude in the pursuit of their goal.
Mark made the call in Otukpo, Benue, at the closing of the 2014 Mark D’ Ball Basketball competition which saw 19 teams slug it out for the coveted trophy.
She said imbibing a sportsmanlike attitude which centred on comportment and rules would help the country achieve its 2015 election targets.
“Sports are a unifying factor and we are all one; if we can do this on the sporting arena, why can’t we do this elsewhere in the country?
“We must continue to pray for Nigeria in our challenging times because we have security challenges in many parts of our country.
“So, we must continue to pray fervently that God brings peace to our country Nigeria this 2015.
“We must continue to pray for the leadership of the country from the President, Goodluck Jonathan, the Vice President and our own Senate President to the governor of Benue State and the Houses of Assembly in Nigeria.
“And for people also to pray that our elections are peaceful because there will be no meaningful development in an atmosphere of chaos,’’ she said.
Mark noted that the money used in the fight against insurgency would have been used to develop sporting facilities and other social amenities in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that tournament favorite, named Blame it on Experience, won the coveted trophy for the 2014 edition of ‘Mark D Ball’ basketball competition.
The club defeated arch-rivals, ESPN, 86-77 in the final of the competition, while Benue Braves defeated Apa Flames of Otukpo, with a narrow margin of 42-41 to win the third place match.
In the female category, Pearls of Lagos overpowered Baby Seals also of Lagos, 74-67, to lift the title.
FCT Angels won the third place encounter against hard fighting Plateau Rockers by 25-20 to settle for the bronze.
Winners of both categories received N425,000 and a trophy each while second and third placed teams received N300,000 and N175,000 each, respectively.
Olympian, Ejike Ugboaja, who featured for Blame it on Experience, won the Most Valuable Player Award in the male category while Tina Elawure of Pearls won in the female category.
Mark D’ Ball is an annual competition sponsored by Senate President David Mark to celebrate Christmas in Otukpo, Benue, but coordinated by his younger brother, Igoche Mark. (NAN)