Basketball: Nigeria Needs Proper Planning and Attitudinal Changes to Foster Growth Says Coach OBJ

Veteran basketball coach Oliver Babatunde Johnson (popularly called coach OBJ) says Nigeria will have to go back to the drawing board and quit blaming games in order to reclaim her rightful position in the game.

Speaking to LEADERSHIP Sports, Coach OBJ said he believes Nigeria could become Africa’s best only if the right approach is adopted.

“Nigeria should stop comparing itself with the likes of Angola and Senegal or blaming the referee for its loss at international outings,” he said.

“What should be done is going back and starting afresh and I assure you we will bounce back.”

He foresees better days for basketball in Nigeria while urging stakeholders to employ every necessary means to improve the sport.

“There is hope for the game. All needed is to go back and catch talents young from schools for future development. It should be a deliberate plan that will definitely be very fruitful in the long run,” he added.

Johnson, who is the Programme manager of Basketball For Peace (BB4P), explained that his organisation was in Abuja to provide a portable basketball facility for New Capital School.

Abuja BB4P Cordinator, Augustine Otaru-Salihu, Instructing New Capital School Kids at the Basketball Clinic.
Abuja BB4P Cordinator, Augustine Otaru-Salihu, Instructing New Capital School Kids at the Basketball Clinic.

“Like the portable basketball facility that we have provided here today is geared toward introducing the young lads to the game, we hope to do the same for other schools that have the grounds where we can mount such facilities,” he concluded.

BB4P, which was established 10 years ago has its corporate head office in Zaria, Kaduna State and is committed to using the game of basketball in ensuring peaceful co-existence among youths in seven states across Nigeria as a pilot project.

It plans to expand it activities which is done through peace zones to other states of the federation.

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