Basketball: IMC reschedules U-18 championship to July
by Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor, Abuja
The Interim Management Committee (IMC) mandated to oversee the basketball sport in Nigeria have rescheduled the Basketball U18 Championship earlier fixed for June 15 – 30 to July 15 – 18, 2022.
This development is to allow the committee ample time to prepare, organiser and ensure the maiden edition of the championship meets the desired accomplishments.
According to the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, the championship will help identify home talents where qualified players will be scouted to form the nation’s U18 basketball team.
In a statement by Mr Mohammed Manga, Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, the committee which was charged to develop the sport at the grassroots, decided to shift the commencement date upfront to restructure logistics and organisational arrangements.
He also added that the shift will enable the committee to ensure that states are adequately informed and prepared for full participation.
Manga said, “The committee was charged to commence a youth basketball league and domestic league to help in nurturing home-based players to provide a reservoir of players.
“The players will represent the country in international events after the period of withdrawal.
“The committee has adjusted the date for the U-18 basketball championships, initially slated to commence from June 15 to July 30, while the finals will come up from Aug. 8 – Aug.14, 2023.
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“To this end, top athletes and outstanding coaches selected from the championships will form the core of the National U-18 teams.
“They will be camped between August 14 and 21 ahead of subsequent developmental programmes aimed at supporting the grassroots development policy for the game being finalised,” he added.
Manga furthermore said that IMC will organise a training programme for coaches, referees, match commissioners, and table officials from July 3 – 5.
He explained that the programme, tagged clinics, will have special sessions for young coaches and referees who will play important roles in the grassroots development.
He said, “The committee invites all basketball stakeholders to join hands with the committee at this crucial moment towards the re-engineering of the sport.
Manga, during his speech, remarked that the dates for the women’s leagues would be announced after due consultation with relevant stakeholders, Sports Ministry inclusive.