By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
After five days of intense basketball activities, Okrika Hawks have emerged Champions of the Rivers State Basketball championship after defeating Da-F Rising Stars in the final 93-76 pts over the weekend.
Okirika Hawks’ head coach, Dikibo Ransom attributed his side’ success to hard work as he thanked the Engr Musa Kida led board for creating such a platform for his boys to show their skills.
“It’s an amazing result for us as a club to be able to come here and prove ourselves after many weeks of hard work. We must commend the association for being one of the first in Nigeria to come up with an activity post-covid-19 lockdown and we are hopeful that this will be the first of many to come.”
“This competition presented many players amazing opportunities to be discovered at a bigger stage as the state prepares for the National Sports Festival in Edo”, Dikibo said.
Olumeni Warriors were rewarded in the third placed game as they went home with the trophy after defeating Port Harcourt based Da-F Bigger boys.
Despite falling short in the finals played at 59B, Niger Street, Port Harcourt, Da-F pointguard Cherish Eric was named as the Most Valuable Player, Highest three points scorer of the competition and also a member of the best five alongside his team mate, Ebuka Okpara.
For their title winning efforts, the duo of Okrika Hawks’ Opuda Ogan (small forward) and Benedict Onovodakpo (Centre) also earned their place on the starting five roster with Shedrack O’Neil of RICDAY Basketball Academy completing the list.
Chairman of the Rivers State Basketball Association, Engr Musa Kida represented by Fubara Onyenabo expressed his satisfaction as he commended teams for being competitive.
“I am glad that we saw at least three outstanding rookies who through hard work won various individual awards while many others also showed prospects, We hope they can go ahead and do great things in the future.”
He called on well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to partner with basketball stakeholders across Nigeria involved in such grassroots programs targeted at the youth.
“If we keep our youth engaged through sports, we will not only be channelling their raw energy positively but also distracting them from other social vices such as drug abuse, armed robbery, banditry, kidnapping amongst other security challenges we face as a nation.”
After the skills challenge, Nicolas Favour won the three points contest while Victor Koko-Anthony (Olumeni Warriors) went home with the free throw contest trophy as Devine Ikechukwu (DA-F Bigger Boys) won the dunk contest.