By Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
The annual Olumide Oyedeji Basketball Camp will be celebrating its 20th edition next month. The basketball camp is one of the various programmes of the Olumide Oyedeji Youth Foundation channeled towards the development and empowerment of the youth.
According to the former NBA player, he started the Olumide Oyedeji Youth Foundation as a way of giving back to the society, to enrich the lives of the youths and enlighten them about education and socio-development skills.
“We use sports as a tool for the empowerment of the young Nigeria. The basketball camp helps identify and develop young talents, instills discipline in them and teaches them the importance of self-belief and team work.”
He added: “In our 20 years, we have held the camp in various cities in the country including Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Kano, Osogbo, Jos and Port Harcourt, and in various countries across the globe like Liberia, Mali, South Africa, United Kingdom, Senegal, Angola, Togo, China, and Korea.
Oyedeji noted that, the camp has produced over 100 athletes who have played for the Nigerian national team both male and female with over 45 of them playing professional basketball outside Nigeria and over 300 players playing with various colleges and high school basketball teams on scholarship.
Oyedeji stressed that over the decades, many of the camp alumni have become pro-athletes and some have become professionals in other industries include women’s Afrobasket champion and league MVP, Nkechi Akashili, DTigress Uju Ugoka, NBA G League player Daniel Ochefu, world record breaker Kaffy Safaru, Superstar artiste CDQ Olowo, NBA Academy ambassadors Charles Bassey, Efemina Abogidi, Samuel Ariyibi (current MVP of the Basketball Without Borders’ Camp) and Joshua Ojianwuna.
The 2019 Edition will hold from Monday 2nd September to Saturday 7 September in Lagos at the Indoor Sports Hall, Rowe Park Sports Centre, Alagomeji, Lagos.
The camp is open kids between the ages of 5 and 18. Forms can be obtained at the Lagos State Basketball Association office.