…as world b’ball tourney begins in Serbia
Champions of the 2022 Milo National Secondary School Championships, Bayelsa State’s Bishop Dimieari Grammar School and St Jude’s Girls Secondary School will represent Nigeria at the 2022 World School Basketball Championship in Belgrade, Serbia.
The tournament dunks off Tuesday (today), with Nigeria competing alongside 19 other nations, including Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, France, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Nepal, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Chinese Taipei and Turkey in the boys and girls categories.
The boys’ team is drawn in Group A alongside Turkey, Hungary and Chinese Taipei, while the girls’ team is in Group D, which also has Turkey, Chile, and Bulgaria.
This is the first time Nigeria, as the only African country, would compete in the championship, which ends September 28.
The championship is organised by the International School Sports Federation and hosted by the Serbian School Sports Federation.
Speaking in Lagos before both teams departure, President, Nigeria School Sports Federation, Mrs. Olabisi Joseph, lauded the the Bayelsa State Government for ensuring that the students were exposed to international competitions, and urged other states to take a cue from the state.
Joseph also commended sponsors of the annual Milo National Secondary School Championships, Nestle Nigeria Plc, for their commitment to the competition, as well as providing the platform for the students to showcase their talents.
In his remarks, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Gentle Emelah, praised Governor Douye Diri for his interest in sports development and for providing the platforms for youths of the state to showcase their potential.
Emelah promised that the teams would make the country and the state proud in Serbia.
Captains of both teams, Idubamo Pius Beggi and Samuel Talents, also vowed to replicate their feat in Nigeria on the international stage, while promising to be good ambassadors.
In his remarks, the Nestle Nigeria Plc Category Manager (Beverages), Tayo Olatunji, said the decision by the Bayelsa government to sponsor the students was in line with the ideals of the annual tournament, which is meant to produce future champions.