‘Crowd at Olumide Oyedeji Camp shows more youths want to play basketball’
Sponsor of the 2023 Olumide Oyedeji Basketball Camp, which ended at the weekend, said that the over 400 kids from across Nigeria attended the event shows that many youngsters want to be involved in the game.
The turnout of prospective basketballers at the camp held at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium, Lagos, gave the organisers much to do to achieve the aim of the grassroots programme.
According to data generated at the programme, participants from Lagos State were over 300, while 25 children came from Ibadan, Oyo State. Some 25 were from Osogbo, Osun State; 20 participants came from Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, while Akure, Ondo State provided 15 of the players.
Plateau State accounted for five; Niger (six); Anambra (six); Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (10), while Ekiti State had five.
After the event, founder of the OOYF, Olumide Oyedeji, said the record number of participants validated the camp’s impact on the basketball landscape in Nigeria.
“We do not have reasons to complain about the number of participants across Nigeria. It shows that the camp is accepted nationwide. It is a blessing that many parents, kids, and coaches are ready to associate with what we do at the foundation,” he said.
The former D’Tigers captain said the number of participants was a testament to the progress the programme made over the last 23 years.
On the future of the project, Oyedeji, who is also South West zonal representative on the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board and third Vice President of the Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC), while speaking on plans for the 2024 edition, said: “We would love to have a bigger space for future events because from what we saw this year, the attendance yearly will be on the increase as many kids and their guardians are becoming aware of the game of basketball in Nigeria, courtesy of the global influence of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Nigerian basketballers around the globe.”
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