By Fortune Abang
Senator John Owan-Enoh, the Minister of Sports Development, has affirmed the commitment to placing entertainment and culture at the forefront of sports development in Nigeria.
The pledge was made during a reception organised by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) for National Basketball Association (NBA) legends Lisa Leslie and Chinenye Ogwumike in Abuja.
Leslie and Chiney, members of President Joe Biden’s inaugural Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement, are currently in Nigeria to provide valuable guidance aimed at strengthening cultural, social, political, and economic ties between the U.S. and Africa.
Their visit also seeks to promote trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the U.S. and Africa.
The Minister emphasised the significance of diversifying sports beyond football, citing the remarkable performance of Nigerian talents in the NBA and WNBA.
He expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration between sports, entertainment, and culture, highlighting their collective role in the significant improvement of the sports sector.
Dr Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the Chairman/CEO of NiDCOM, commended Leslie and Chiney for their dedication to fostering sports talent growth in Africa.
She pledged ongoing engagement with the duo to promote sports talent not only in Nigeria but across the entire continent.
Gbemisola Abudu, NBA Vice-President Africa, underscored Nigeria’s rich basketball talent pool and its commercial potential.
She acknowledged the historical achievements of African descent players in the NBA and WNBA, emphasising the broader impact on both talent and commerce.
Tochukwu Ebere, Chairman of the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, celebrated the legends’ achievements, recognising Nigeria’s accomplishments in various fields and commending their sports resilience.
Ambassador Samson Itegboje, representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs, praised NiDCOM for organising the event to honor Leslie and Chiney.
He hailed the legends for their unparalleled success, resilience, and dedication to making a positive impact globally.
The event showcased the intersection of sports, entertainment, and culture, highlighting Nigeria’s commitment to fostering excellence in the sports sector. (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Dianabasi Effiong/Halima Sheji