By Victor Okoye
An Ex-basketball International, Samuel Oguche and founder, Samuel Oguche Basketball Foundation says all is set to host one of the biggest basketball camps to empower youths at grassroots in December.
Oguche, a foremost basketball youth development expert made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said the foundation would be partnering with the Gov. Yahaya Bello Basketball Youth Empowerment (GYBBYE) to reach out to over 1,000 youths across the country from Dec. 15 to Dec. 18 in Kogi.
“The Kogi basketball camp is basically meant to empower our teeming youths at the grassroots and to this end, we decided to stage this very important camp in the Confluence city.
“We will be collaborating with many of our friends and sponsors to invite couple of teams from Abuja, Lagos, all over the country so, people can come together for the three-day tournament and the kids’ camp.
“The project, which is not limited to just one part of the country, is meant to mentor kids and take the youths off the streets.
“We have taken our camps to all the geo-political zones of the country and expect kids from Kogi and its environs to participate,” he said.
Oguche said that Gov. Yahaya Bello was using the basketball to take kids off the streets, adding that the governor recently renovated and commissioned a basketball court in the state ahead of the event.
“The project, which is meant to mentor kids, is our own little way of giving back to the society and we are happy that governor Bello is buying into that.
“The wife of the governor, Hajia Rashida Bello, has also thrown her weight behind the much anticipated GYB youth empowerment basketball tournament due to hold in Lokoja.
“She, over the weekend commissioned a newly renovated basketball court at the Federal University of Technology, Lokoja, which is expected to host the GYB Youth empowerment competition,” he said.
Oguche also hinted that a popular energy drink would be supporting the basketball camp coming in Kogi state.
“Bullet Energy drinks are going to support us to do this stuff and they have always been a worthy partner,” he said.
Mr Igoche Mark, the Chairman of Mark Mentors Basketball team of Abuja and one of the sponsors of the programme said he was excited to be associated with what the Samuel Oguche Basketball Foundation was doing in the country.
He noted that he was very passionate about grassroots development as well as youth empowerment, adding that the good work being done by the foundation was worth supporting.
Mark, who is also vying for a ticket to represent the North Central Zone ahead of elections into the new board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), stressed that his goal was development of basketball at the grassroots.
“I will like to concentrate on developing basketball at the grassroots because I believe in catching them young.
“I also believe that once we have enough basketball courts available in the country, more youths will pick interest in the game.
“So, this is my passion and what has kept driving me to support any programme such as the one being put together by the Samuel Oguche foundation, ” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)