By Victor Okoye
Mr Igoche Mark, the Chairman of Mark Mentors Basketball Club has officially unveiled the Mark ‘D’ Ball Basketball Championship in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that all is now set for the rejuvenated basketball tournament known as Mark ‘D’ Ball Championship for the male and female categories.
NAN reports that 12 teams will participate in women’s invitational basketball championship.
Speaking at the occasion, Mark said that the championship was a novel idea and would be quite different from what it used to be.
Mark said that the female championship would begin from Jan. 8, 2022 with a total of 12 women basketball teams competing for honours at the Indoor Basketball Hall of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
He noted that the male tournament would commence on Jan. 22 and last for 12 weeks with 12 participating teams from across the country at the same venue.
The chairman explained that the tournament was part of stakeholder’s efforts geared towards resurrecting the domestic basketball leagues in 2022.
“We are all here today because we love this game, a game in which we are passionate about and a place where we spend most of our lives.
“As you are aware, the Mark ‘D ball brand and its affiliations are not new to the basketball family.
“This is in continuation of our contribution to the sustainable development of basketball, and in trying to see that the game is put back on the map.
“We are working to ensure that all critical stakeholders are involved in this developmental process,” he said.
He explained that the tournament committee was working on modalities to ensure that they organised the best tourney ever come 2022.
The Mark D’ Ball basketball championship boss, assured of his continued commitment for the support of basketball in Nigeria.
“I will do everything within my reach to ensure that the game of basketball does not die in Nigeria.
“Let us all come together and unite to bring basketball back to life.
“We must leave no stone unturned to ensure the growth of basketball in the country,” he stressed.
Also speaking, Mr Frank Jituboh, the Chairman, FCT Basketball Association expressed his gratitude to the organisers for deciding to stage the championship in Abuja.
He was represented by Muhammad Sulaiman, the Association’s Second Vice Chairman.
He assured of the association’s commitment to ensure a hitch-free tournament.
“The year 2021 has been very wonderful. I think Abuja has had the largest number of competitions so far and Mark ‘D’ Ball would be the very first tournament to usher in the year 2022.
“I can indeed affirm the commitment of Mark to the growth and development of basketball in this country.
“I don’t think he is doing this because of any ambition to run for the North central ticket in the upcoming Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) elections on Jan. 30.
“So, we want to say thank you so very much for all your efforts and contributions as we continue to explore and strive to strengthen the bond of fellowship between us,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two giant trophies were unveiled as winners prize for the male and female tournaments. (NAN)