By Jacob Ajom
The Organised Basketball Network officially commissioned its basketball academy in Ajah, Lagos, amid fanfare.
The event attracted stakeholders in basketball from across the country, including former President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation Tijani Umar and Mr. Stephen Ibelli, Public Affairs Officer, United States Consulate in Lagos, among others.
Speaking at the event, the founder of the OBN Academy, Obinna Okezie said the state-of-the-art facility which is also known as the OBN Hoop Centre was aimed at providing the numerous kids in Nigeria with something similar to what their counterparts in other parts of the world enjoy.
Okezie, a former NBA star said he could have turned out a better basketball player than he did, had he been exposed to such facilities and top notch coaching, early as a kid.
“I never had this when I was growing up,” he said, adding, “because of the enormous talent I find in the African kid, I felt compelled to build this in order to expose them to modern training methods and facilities.
“The OBN Academy is for all children, whether from poor or rich backgrounds.”
Former President of the NBBF Tijani Umar said, “Obinna has taken a very positive step which should be emulated by other well-to-do individuals and organisations because “government alone can’t do it.”
On his part, the Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate in Lagos, Stephen Ibelli said, “Obinna is using sports to ensure gender equality in a society where there is a wide gap between the sexes.
“The initiative is also good because the children will imbibe the essence of teamwork.”