In its bid to fast track the development of basketball in Nigeria and Africa, frontline basketball team in the United States of America, Chicago Bulls has donated two hundred balls and some bags to the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria National/International Workshop for coaches.
Nigeria’s coordinator of the workshop, Coach O.B. Johnson, fondly called ‘Coach OBJ’ disclosed this during the close of the training at the gymnasium hall of ABU, at the weekend.
He said the support from Chicago Bulls was unprecedented and called on other public spirited individuals, teams and corporate organisations to emulate the American club and other sponsors of the workshop.
“We are grateful to them and other sponsors and calling on others to emulate them,” he said.
Coach OBJ said the workshop which he described as successful featured 54 participants, including nine ladies from all over Nigeria.
The veteran coach, who is also the technical adviser for basketball in ABU attributed the success recorded to team spirit.
“We initiated it as a team work. I couldn’t do it without a team. Some of the outstanding people that committed to its success include Andy Kpedi, Director, University Advancement, Professor Adamu Ahmed, Isa Umar Foundation, Edward Tox, and the ABU Vice Chancellor were exceptional.
“We met the Vice Chancellor on Monday, he spent more than half an hour with us while on a courtesy call out of his very busy schedule. He gave us some gifts and we also gave him some.
“Isa Umar Foundation donated two sets of jerseys to male and female basketball teams of ABU during the visit,” he added.
Speaking to our reporter on the sideline of the workshop, one of the coaches and also sponsor, Andy Kpedi, said Nigeria is in good hands with basketball coaches.
“They have improved because we gave them the skills they needed to improve on, I made them do a practice plan, which they did. They have been excellent,” he concluded.
As part of the workshop, a health fitness session was anchored by Dr. Funmi Dominic, an Associate Professor of the University of Ilorin.
Funmi who is also the institution’s basketball coach and currently the director of sports, University of Ilorin, said the session was to ensure the coaches are healthy.