By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
The North East Zone of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has concluded plans for a referees’ training course ahead of the new basketball season.
The training which will include participants from Adamawa, Gombe, Borno, Taraba, Yobe and Bauchi states will hold between the 13th and 17th of November at the University of Maiduguri.
One of Nigeria’s elite and FIBA badged referees, Kingsley Ojeaburu will be joined by Olayiwola Alimi and Ikuomola Afolabi as resource persons.
The weeklong event which is geared towards improving the knowledge of referees on new laws will also provide opportunities for interested stakeholders who may want to pursue a career in officiating.
The North East Zonal Representative on the board, Alhaji Abba Kaka said the unique opportunity is one of the numerous programmes lined up by his office to improve the game and its awareness.
Speaking on the importance of the training, Alhaji Kaka said, “Many people in our zones have been clamoring for an opportunity like this to improve their knowledge as a referee. Others who are either retired basketball players or lovers of the game are also trying to transit into becoming referees and they will need a platform which we are gladly providing.
“Not everybody can go to Lagos or Abuja to attend trainings organised by the federation at the centre. That is why we are bringing it closer to our people at no cost”, Kaka said.
Speaking further, Kaka said that the merits of having referees with sound knowledge of the game cannot be over emphasized.
“The level of referees will determine how good the league is. Referees who are on top of their game will handle matches well which will rub off positively on players and coaches.”
He observed that Nigeria with her vast human resources still need more FIBA badged referees at the continental and international stage.
“If Nigeria has 20 to 30 FIBA badged referees, I don’t think it is too much. We are blessed and talented as a nation. All we need is to harness these talents for global consumption and relevance.”