The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has postponed the Under-18 basketball maiden edition championships from June 15 to July 30 with a view to ensuring more youth participation in the sport.
The adjusted date for the U-18 basketball championships, which was initially slated to commence from June 15 to July 30, while the finals would come up from August 8 to August 14, 2023.
According to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, the recently inaugurated Interim Management Committee (IMC) would oversee the development of youth basketball and domestic league following the country’s withdrawal from international competitions.
Through a statement released by the Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Mohammed Manga, on Tuesday, in Abuja, the minister, Sunday Dare said that the committee was charged to commence a youth basketball league and domestic league to help in nurturing home-based players so as to provide a reservoir of players.
He said that this is to afford the committee ample opportunity to study, rethink and restructure the logistics and organizational arrangements.
According to him, the shift will enable the committee to ensure that states are adequately informed and prepared for full participation.
““The players will represent the country in international events after the period of withdrawal. To this end, top athletes and outstanding coaches selected from the championships will form the core of the National U-18 teams.
“They will be camped between August 14 and 21 ahead of subsequent developmental programmes aimed at supporting the grassroots development policy for the game being finalised,” he said.
Manga stated that the committee would be organizing clinics for coaches, referees, match commissioners and table officials clinics from July 3 – July 5.
He said that the clinic would have special sessions for young coaches and referees expected to play crucial role in the grassroots development of the game.
According to him, the clinic will prepare officials generally for the premier league.
He said that the women leagues dates would be announced after due consultation with relevant stakeholders as well as the ministry.