By Victor Okoye
Abuja, June 17, 2022 (NAN) Despite the huge success and frenzy that have already greeted the 2022 Mark D Ball Men’s Basketball Championship, the initiator of the tournament and President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Igoche Mark says there is still more to be done in order to raise the standard of elite and grassroots basketball in Nigeria.
Mark, who is an ever present at matches, since the championship started, however commented the skills, talents of players and coaches, as well as the competitiveness the participating teams have displayed; despite the inactivity that enveloped the fortunes of the game, since 2017.
Speaking on Day 3 of the Elite 8 yesterday (Friday) at the Indoor Sports Hall, Package B of the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja; Mark reaffirmed his commitment to invest more time and resources in developing all aspect of the game.
“I am quite happy with all I have seen, but I’m not satisfied with the level of our basketball at this time, and this is a reminder to me and all genuine stakeholders of the game that we have to more to do in order to bring all aspects of the game, to an appreciable standard.
The sole sponsor of Mark ‘D’ Ball Basketball Championship took time to commend the players, coaches and technical officials for exhibiting their skills and talents.
Mark also used the opportunity to pay tribute to Coach Ime Udoka for leading the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals despite losing to Golden State Warriors 103-90 (4-2 on aggregate).
In his words, “I won’t need rocket science to know that your handwork, dedication, tenacity and zest brought you this far. Recall in January the Celtics were 18-21, in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, but you led them to the NBA Finals. You are my MVP! Mark stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Mark ‘D’ Ball Men’s basketball championship which resumed with the ‘Elite eight’ on Wednesday sees eight teams divided into two groups (four each) with two best teams from each group expected to advance to the semifinals on Saturday.
The finals will be played on Sunday to determine the winner of the championship.
Fast-rising Nigerian artiste, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable and Harrison Tare Okiri,better known by the stage name Harrysong are among artists that will perform at the final event.
The final which signals the end of the championship that started with 24 teams in February 2022, will feature other artists and comedians.
Organisers say the closing ceremony starts by 4pm at the package B of the MKO Abiola stadium,Abuja. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)