Courtside: Challenges Facing Female Basketball Teams in Nigeria
By Jude Chukwuemeka
The show this week, gives attention to briefs from NBA, interview with someone from MFM Queens on what can be done to improve their game, and also some thoughts on the Eko league final. As usual, the full squad represents in the 99.3 Nigeria Info studio ready for the show.
Daniel Chukwumah said it would be nice if the female basketball teams can get more encouragement in terms of packaging, welfare, management, social media engagement and other areas.
"When it comes to how we project the Nigerian basketball, you can see these aspects coming into play. For me, more should be done about athlete representation of the league build-up. It’s a welcome development though I feel like more needs to be done. Big ups! Olumide. Great job."
Chuma Nnoli adds that he hopes they can sustain the momentum and have more matches played.
Regarding female basketball, more improvement needs to be accomplished, especially regarding the provisions of more competitions for players based in the country. Nigeria’s D’ Tigress have emerged as African champions twice in the last Afro Basket Tournament. Chuma points out that the successful teams have always been foreign based.
He says the main reason for not having the Nigerian teams shine is the absence of more matches and competitions in the country. A major basketball tournament in Nigeria is the Zenith Bank’s sponsored NBBF Women’s League. During the show, the interview of one of the stars of the 2019 finalist, MFM Queens, Ezebilo Grace was featured.
A brief review of Eko Basketball League Final was also discussed, with Media Officer, Rivers Hoopers Basketball Club, Queen Moseph. She remarks that this type of tournament should recur more in Nigeria. The power tussle has had its negative effect on the progress of tournaments like this, but she believes something can be done to make the situation better.
“We looked around to find out what we can do to make sure that teams in Lagos can get more active whether or not there’s a federal league. It would be so nice if Lagos State Basketball Association always has something to get busy with, for coaches and players to regularly have matches, while people turn out at the stadia to watch their favorite teams play.”
For the Lagos State Basketball Association to organize 150 games in about seven months is not a joke but more could be done. However, she said it is something they should continue to do on a regular basis. Moseph also added that other states in the country should emulate the example set by Lagos State.
Nnemaka Anyanwu bares her mind on providing more tournaments for the female basketball teams in Nigeria. “Everyone’s frustrated that players come home from abroad to play with the national teams. We have to build adequate infrastructure. Apart from normal season games, there has to be pre-season games to keep players active. Hundreds of teams play throughout the summer. Players in the United States could play from October to March. That gives them six to seven months of activity.”
Azu Onicha agrees with Amaka, saying that “we can’t play for two-three months per year and think that we are fine. Peter Amedu said that we are not playing a professional league, we don’t have to deceive ourselves.”
Courtside is your favorite Basketball show on 99.3 Nigeria Info FM Lagos. The show is scheduled for every Mondays by 7.05pm.
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Courtside features Chuma Nnoli I Daniel Chukwumah I Nnemaka Anyanwu I Azu Onicha