By Victor Okoye
Igoche Mark, the initiator and founder of Mark ‘D’ Ball Basketball Championship, has assured that the much anticipated tournament is set to return in Abuja soon with a bang.
Mark said this during the 2023 Sam Oguche/Bullet Energy Drink Invitational tournament’s final at the Mo Arena in Abuja on Friday.
He explained that the Mark ‘D’ Ball Basketball Championship, which had helped to resurrect the moribund domestic basketball in the country, took a short break due to some circumstances beyond the control of the organisers.
He promised that the next edition of the basketball tournament would be the best ever, adding that plans were ongoing to ensure that it surpassed the previous tournaments.
The plans, he said, included improving the quality of the tournament, the venue, welfare of players, coaches and officials, number of participating teams as well as the competition’s prize money.
“Let me use this medium to inform all stakeholders that the next edition of Mark ‘D’ Ball Basketball Championship will become a reference point in Africa.
“We are currently working on using a new basketball arena for the championship, which was one of the reasons for the break.
“But by the grace God, we are excited that we have one now as the Mo Arena just opened.
“So, we are in discussion with the owner as we intend to use this magnificent facility for our next tournament,” he said.
He restated his commitment towards the growth and development of grassroots basketball in the country.
He stressed that his love for the game was undying, adding that he would continue to support the discovery and development of young talents across the country.
“The Mark ‘D’ Ball brand and its affiliations have contributed so much to the game of basketball in the country and will continue to contribute to the sustainable development of basketball at the grassroots.
“Our little impact in the game of basketball last year was as a result of partnership with stakeholders; players, coaches among others, and we will continue to contribute our own little quota,” he said.
Mark also commended Oguche for his consistent contribution towards the development of basketball at the grassroots.
He said the zest and commitment that the former Nigeria basketball international has shown towards giving back through basketball was a virtue others must emulate.
“This is very impressive. I think this is about his second or third tournament this year and they have been improving each time.
“I am also excited about the discovery and development of the young talents in the competition over the years.
“We need more of such tournaments right now so that the players can come out and showcase their talents and that will also help them improve their game,” he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Salif Atojoko