Ahead of their next encounter at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare has met the male national basketball team, D’Tigers to thank and encourage them for doing Nigeria proud and starting a silent revolution in the country’s basketball development.
At the virtual meeting with the team held on Tuesday, July 27 2021, the Minister assured the players of continued government, corporate and citizens’ support.
In his words, “Coach Mike Brown, like I said, I can’t thank you enough. I am glad I watched the games, every other single game I’ve watched, I watched last one. This is a winning team. I know you will take care of business. I can only wish you the very best as you prepare for the next two games and I’m sure that you will do this country proud. You guys bring it on. You got the skills, you got the commitment, you got the experience and I just want to wish you well.”
The Minister revealed that the team’s performance has kick-started a silent revolution in the development of basketball in Nigeria.
Dare enthused, “I want to say that you have also ignited a revolution for basketball in Nigeria. You don’t know what you have started.
“As a Ministry, as a Minister we are committed to Project 109. Project 109, which is yet to start, because we are going to need the Kida-led team and you particularly, we have 109 senatorial districts in Nigeria, 109 senatorial districts each represented by one senator.
“Project 109 is aimed at building one basketball court in every senatorial district and manning each of those courts with coaches so that we can start to get talents and young ones that want to play basketball from the grassroots and graduate then through the amateur league to professional league.
“We think if we start that early enough, we can start to have younger basketballers come up. That is our own contribution to basketball development but of course we know that the federation will do more, we will work with you,” he stressed.