Mark D Ball Championship: Redifining Grassroots Basketball Development In Nigeria
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By Ebube Dike
On 12 January, 2022, the Mark D Ball Basketball Championship for women ducked off at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Package B Abuja with 16 teams drawn from the various states across the country.
The championship which is the first of its kind in the country for ages, have reinvigorated the essence of grassroots basketball competition and development in the country.
It was therefore not unexpected that players and Officials of teams participating at the ongoing Mark D Ball Basketball Women’s Championship have commended the organsers and Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for putting together what they described as the best basketball tournament, in recent times in the country.
The Championship dunked off on Saturday at Package B of the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja with 16 teams, from the FCT and across the nation, competing for honours.
A player with IGP Queen, Christiana Isaac told Mark D Ball Media Crew that playing competitive basketball, after years of inactivity, and the level of organisation she has seen, makes her think the tournament is another carnival.
“I won’t lie, this tournament is different because it is the first time players got their appearance fees and allowances directly into their Bank Accounts. I want to commend Igoche Mark for this gesture and I will admonish him to continue with this.” Isaac stated.
In the same vain, Coach of Novena Queens Angela Izekwe described the championship as
fascinating and marvelous; and ranked it as the best basketball event put together in recent times.
“The Oragansiers of Mark D Ball are Super, marvelous and the best. I commend them for putting up this tournament. “Izekwe said.
While commending the Organisers and Sports Ministry for resucitating domestic basketball, after years in the woods, Head Coach of Hotcoal Sizzilers of Abuja, Habib Afodun prayed for the continuity of the Championships.
“This is top notch, first of its kind in Nigeria. We have not witnessed anything close to this before. It is awesome and you can see happiness in the faces of all participants, I wish this can be sustained.
She joined other stakeholders in thanking the Sports Ministry, ably led by the Honourable Minister, Chief Sunday Dare; and the Organisers of Mark D Ball Basketball Championships for there gesture.
Meanwhile, Captain of Hotcoal of Abuja, Sharon Oduko has joined in commending the new innovations and branding imbibed by the Organisers, of Mark D Ball Championships.
Speaking to our Media team, Oduko pointed out that the innovations and branding have been amazing, and have given the Indoor Sports Hall (venue of all the matches) a carnival outlook, and the players, Officials and Spectators can be seen wearing broad Smiles.
She added that she is super excited to be part of the glamour, splendour, and a Slam and Dunk tournament where the welfare and wellbeing of the participants are giving top priority.
The 2022 Mark D Ball Basketball Championship for women, enters Match Day 4 with 8 teams advancing to the next round of the championship on Wednesday.