South East Basketball Tournament Kick – Starts In Abia

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The South East Basketball tournament has kick – started in Abia with Abia Stars Basketball team playing against its Anambra State Basketball counterpart in Umuahia.

Declaring the competition open at the indoor sports hall of the Umuahia Township Stadium, the Abia state Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Nwaobilor Ananaba said the present administration is intentional in what it is doing in sports and that the intention of Governor Otti is to catch them young, develop them to enable them become professionals and capable representatives of Abia state both at the national and international levels.

He said it is the first time Abia state is hosting the South East Basketball tournament, adding that it is an indication of what Governor Alex Otti is doing in sports.

He said that the Governor is a sports loving man and is intentional in what he is doing in sports and that his intention is to catch them young, develop them and make them to become professionals and capable representatives of Abia state both at the national and international levels.

Mr. Ananaba, who thanked the Governor for his unwavering support to sports development in Abia, appreciated the federal government for its efforts too and further explained the gains of the competition.

“It’s about developing basket ball from the grassroot. It’s about revitalizing sports in Abia state. It’s about making Abia state, sports destination in future. So, this is the build up.

“This is not the only competition we are doing . We want to start from here, make sure that things are happening in Abia state in terms of sports . We also make sure that we train these athletes to make sure that when they go to represent Abia state they will bring laurels and also bring money because sports now is business,” Mr. Ananaba stated.

Also speaking, the State Director of Sports, Mr. Obioma George said the competition which is an annual event is compulsory for every zone, explaining that at the end of the championship at the zonal level, the best state would represent South East in the national federation basketball championship.

Mr. George charged the Abia athletes to use the competition to showcase their basketball skill to enable them join the national camp, saying that Abia was able to harness the athletes because of the commitment of Governor Otti to sports development.

“In Abia, we are able to harness them from the grassroot and today all the grassroot basketballers we have selected are today representing Abia state in this ongoing South East Basketball Championship.

“This is possible because of the basketball realm, you can see, it’s Olympic standard that the Honourable Commissioner was able to get for us through His Excellency, Dr. Alex Otti,” Mr. George maintained.

Contributing, the Technical Director of the tournament and Chairman of Abia State Basketball Association, Mr. Victor Okoro disclosed that they aim at ensuring the realization of the vision of the state government in developing basketball.

He commended Governor Otti for providing the needed support including procurement of realm for the basketball in Abia state.

Speaking on behalf of his teammates, the Team Captain of Abia Stars Basketball, Emmanuel Kpatuma appreciated Governor Otti for providing a standard basketball realm and for identifying young athletes in basketball.

He expressed confidence that the Abia team would emerge victorious at the end of the zonal competition and represent the South East at the national championship.

The maiden game which ended 50/26 in favour of Abia Stars Basketball against the Anambra Stars Basketball featured presentations of sports kits to participating states in tournament.