Injury knocks Rasheed Sulaimon out of 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers
Borno basketball chairman explains sport’s role in North East development
Casademont Zaragoza Shooting Guard, Rasheed Sulaimon, has been ruled out of D’Tigers’ 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers due to injury, according to NBBFMedia.
Sulaimon, who was listed in the 20-man list earlier released by Coach Mike Brown, will no longer play any part in the qualifiers to be decided from November 27 to 29 due to a torn muscle in his left abdomen and a leg injury.
The 26-year-old, whose team is currently topping Group D after two games in the Euro League, expressed his disappointment over the injury that ruled him out for six to eight weeks.
“This is so disappointing for me, as I would have loved to join the team for the qualifiers and play my part. I was looking forward to my debut for Nigeria but that will have to be put off till another time.
“Right now, I am staying positive and focusing on recovering from the injury and coming back stronger and better. Athletes will always get injured, but how you react to these setbacks sets you apart.”
The D’Tigers’ final training camp will open in Kigali on Monday, November 23 before the team’s first match.
Nigeria will face host- Rwanda and Mali, Algeria, recently withdrew from the qualifiers.
Meanwhile, North East Zone’s representative on the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board, Alhaji Abba Kaka, has highlighted the sport as a tool to curb insurgency in the region, youth restiveness and unemployment in Nigeria.
Kaka, who is the Chairman, Borno State Basketball Association, said at the yearly General Meeting of the association in Maiduguri at the weekend, “Nigeria has a young population, which is a blessing in disguise if well harnessed. This population can channel their energy into sports, which will not only solve the problem we face as a nation but turn to a goldmine in boosting the economy.
“The recent nationwide protest by youths across Nigeria is an indication of an urgent need to address youth restiveness if we are to avoid the landmine ahead.”
Earlier, the state’s basketball association organised a five-day clinic to train youths in the North East Zone, Adamawa, Borno, Taraba, Gombe, Yobe and Bauchi, by FIBA Badged Referees from Lagos and Abuja.
While addressing the meeting, he briefed them about the NBBF’s effort in attracting and securing a N150 million sponsorship from Total Oil E&P for the Men’s Division 1 and 2 leagues, while assuring them of Zenith Bank’s continued commitment to the Women’s League.
Kaka commended the Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum, for hosting the youth summit and the introduction of a 25-year development plan with immediate, strategic, medium and long implementation phases targeted at rebuilding the state.
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