Kwara Falcons win inaugural Championship
Organiser of the Louis Edem Basketball Championship, which debuted at the weekend, Loius Edem Ekpeyoung, has disclosed that he will invest N10 million to develop basketball in the grassroots within the next five years.
Speaking after watching reigning champions of the Nigeria Basketball League, Kwara Falcons, beat Spintex Knights of Ghana 75-57 to win the inaugural Louis Edem Invitational Basketball Championship at the Indoor Sports Hall, National Stadium, Surulere, Ekpeyong said Nigeria’s basketball development needed to be taken seriously, with stakeholders investing more funds to ensure the country meets the standard of other top nations in the sport.
Ekpeyong, who was delighted by the large number of teams that participated in the event, said Nigeria’s players need more grassroots tournaments to sharpen their skills and also get monetary rewards to improve their standard of living.
He added that four Nigerian teams will be taken to Ghana for another edition of the Louis Edem tourney later this year, as part of efforts to expose them to the game at international level.
“My intention is to see that more youths play basketball and players at the elite level get more championships to earn a living from the sport they love.
“Ghana will host the next Louis Edem Invitational Championship later this year and four Nigerian teams will be sponsored by the foundation to be part of the event.
“I am ready to work with the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to ensure we have a well tailored functional basketball league in the country,” he said.
Kwara Falcons, who defeated Rivers Hoopers to qualify for final of the championship and also defeated Ghana’s Spintex Knighs in the final, earned N2 million for their victory, while the Ghanaians got N1 million for emerging second in the championship.
Outstanding players at the tournament were also rewarded in the championship, which featured 10 teams.