Tokyo 2020: ‘Revolutionary’ D’Tigers get ministerial encouragement ahead of Germany tie
…As sports minister discloses plan to build 109 basketball courts across Nigeria
Ahead of Wednesday’s Olympic Games men’s basketball matchup between Nigeria’s D’Tigers and Germany, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has thanked the African champions for doing Nigeria proud and starting a silent revolution in the country’s basketball development.
Dare, who expressed his gratitude to the Nigerian national team during a virtual meeting with the team and its officials on Tuesday, assured the players of continued government, corporate and citizens’ support.
“Coach Mike Brown, like I said, I can’t thank you enough. I am glad I watched the games, every other single game I’ve watched, I watched the last one,” the Minister said. “This is a winning team. I know you will take care of business. I can only wish you the very best as you prepare for the next two games (against Germany on Wednesday, and Italy on Saturday) and I’m sure that you will do this country proud.
“You guys bring it on. You got the skills, you got the commitment, you got the experience and I just want to wish you well.”
The Minister also disclosed that D’Tigers performance has started a silent revolution in the development of basketball in Nigeria.
“I want to say that you have also ignited a revolution for basketball in Nigeria. You don’t know what you have started,” enthused the Minister.
“As a Ministry, as a Minister, we are committed to Project 109. Project 109, which is yet to start because we are going to need the Kida-led team and you particularly,” said Dare, referring to Musa Kida, the President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation.
“We have 109 senatorial districts in Nigeria, 109 senatorial districts each represented by one senator. Project 109 is aimed at building one basketball court in every senatorial district and manning each of those courts with coaches so that we can start to get talents and young ones that want to play basketball from the grassroots and graduate then through the amateur league to the professional league.
“We think if we start that early enough, we can start to have younger basketball players come up. That is our contribution to basketball development but of course, we know that the federation will do more. We will work with you,” he stressed.