The initiator of the giant of Africa Top-50 basketball camp in Nigeria Masai Ujiri is confident the camp will continue to foster the growth of basketball in Nigeria.
Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos, the Toronto Raptors basketball franchise General Manager expressed satisfaction at the influence the camp has had on fledgling basketball talents- most of which he said have gone on to play for Colleges in the US- in Nigeria and other African countries.
Ujiri stated that the aim of the annual camp is not to develop and take kids abroad but for them to fit into the Nigeria and other African countries league system.
“I must express satisfaction over the fact that many kids have come through the camps and are playing in different colleges in the US,” the former Nigeria international said. “However, the idea behind the camp is not to get the player ready for contracts outside the country but to help grow the game in Nigeria and other Africa countries.”
The 2013 edition of the camp, which began in Lagos on Sunday, saw kids from Nigeria, Benin Republic and Togo with instructors drawn from Nigeria and the United States of America. Two foreign coaches Patrick Mutombo and Patrick Engelbrecht would be joined by Markmentors of Abuja Coach, Joe Tomo, to take participants through the rudiments of basketball.
He also stressed the need for the participants to take their education seriously, as it was not possible for all of them to be drafted into the National Basketball Association (NBA) league even if they play at colleges in the US.
The three-day camp ends on Tuesday.