Acting Consular General of the United States of America Consulate in Lagos, Michael Ervin has described as unique the M2 Basketball Academy teach-the-trainer coaching clinic held in Lagos recently.

Mr Ervin who was at the Air Force base, venue of the clinic organized by the M2 Basketball Academy said it gladdens his heart to see that Coach Marvin Menzies of the University of Missouri–Kansas City is giving back to the game through teaching coaches and equipping them to nurture young Nigerian talents in basketball.

“The US Consulate is proud to identify with this kind of work. We encourage youth development through sports be it basketball, soccer and others to help build a strong relationship through sports. We will continue to support such programmes like that of Coach Menzies.”

The US diplomat during his short stay interacted with some of the 40 basketball coaches in attendance as well as other dignitaries that were present.

The coaches that attended the clinic were drawn from across the Southwest states and Abuja for the one-day teach-the-trainer coaching clinic held at the Officers Mess Gymnasium inside the Air Force Base, Ikeja, Lagos.

Speaking on the initiative, Menzies, who is currently the head men’s coach at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, stated that the idea of teaching the teacher by the M2 Basketball Academy is drawn from giving back to help enrich Nigerian coaches in doing their jobs.

“Having coached the game of basketball for 41 years and now aged 61, I have come to a conclusion that I need to be remembered for something different. My way of giving back is helping train the trainer and as such help to impact on a long list players under the guidance of these coaches,” he said.

Coaches go through basketball drills at the coaching clinic.

“There are lots of talents in Nigeria and harnessing their skills is a lot more than meets the eyes. There are things the coaches know that I have learnt from them in the course of our training both online and physically like is the case today. The coaches need to be given ideas that will help them do their jobs better through our M2 Basketball Academy.”

The coaching clinic, which is the fourth in the series in the Lagos area, is geared towards kitting coaches for the job effectively with the right tools and equipment.

Menzies took the participants on several defense drills, namely pressure man-to-man defence, general man-to-man rules, rules for defending the ball, rules for defending off the ball, and drill works.

M2 Executive Director, Samson Sotuminu, who is also the Assistant Coach of Nigeria’s women’s national team, D’Tigress, stated that the academy is keen on helping build the capacity of coaches.

“I’m glad with the turnout of coaches despite the rains on Sunday,” he said. “We look forward to do more for coaches in Nigeria to help build our capacity base.”

NBA ambassador in Nigeria, Olumide Oyedeji, while assessing the clinic, said it is a welcome development for the growth of the sport.

“This coaching clinic by M2 is a great development to help our coaches get better in their jobs,” said the former Orlando Magic center, who was selected 42nd overall by the Seattle SuperSonics in the  2000 NBA draft.

Head Coach of the M2 Basketball Academy, Chris Nomigo, in his remark hinted that the programme will in the near future be taken to Abuja to give room for coaches in the north to benefit too.

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