Africa’s largest and only pan-African free-to-air (FTA) channel, Kwese Free Sports recently hosted a basketball clinic for over 200 youth, featuring former NBA player Jerome Williams, at Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos.
With the aim to promote the sport and raise interest among the grassroots, the Youth Basketball Clinic had in attendance boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 20 years from selected schools in Lagos and Ogun states.
Students from Julliard Academy, Magodo; Dansol High School, Agidingbi and the Nigerian Turkish International College, Isheri amongst others gathered at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Teslim Balogun Stadium to be coached by former NBA player, Jerome Williams.
The clinic covered basic fundamentals in ball handling, dribbling, jump stops, passing and shooting.
Speaking at clinic, Chichi Nwoko, general manager Kwese Free TV explained that: “Kwese is committed to the development of basketball in Africa”, adding that Kwese Free Sports broadcasts an impressive line-up of sporting content including the NBA, Premier League, Carabao Cup, Copa Del Rey, international boxing and Formula One.
She noted that the new NBA season starts on the 17th of October, with four live games scheduled to air on Kwese Free Sports every week, including Live prime-time match-ups for the region on NBA Sundays, every Sunday from the start of season.
The 24/7 sport channel broadcasts on terrestrial television as UHF 32 in Lagos. It is also available on Kwese TV decoder channel 285 and FreeTV channel 732 in Abuja and Jos.
Speaking on the clinic, Olumide Oyedeji, former NBA player applauded Kwese Free sports for the initiative saying the move will help grow the game.
“It’s a great initiative from Kwese Free Sports and great development for basketball in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole. I’m glad to be part of this programme and “I’m proud to be a member of the NBA family. With Kwese Sports, basketball is going to develop in Nigeria and that will give the game more popularity in the country, ” he added.
“Hopefully, we get more companies doing what Kwese Sports is going to basketball because it make the fans and the players feel appreciated.”
Jerome Williams, also a former NBA player thanked NBA for the opportunity to take part in the clinic.
“First and foremost, I will like to thank the NBA for allowing me to come to Nigeria. It was my first time coming to Nigeria. I participated in the basketball with borders in 2003 and 2005 in South Africa. And it has been just a very wonderful experience. I have truly enjoyed myself.
“I really appreciate what NBA have here and Kwese TV for broadcasting NBA in Nigeria and the whole of Africa and from bring NBA personalities to the kids to feel it, ” he noted.
Frank Traore , Senior Manager, Basketball Operations, NBA added: “I am very excited to be at the basketball clinic which is a great initiative in sport. We are looking forward to having a direct occasion to draw the game of basketball in Africa and particularly in Nigeria.
“These kids are playing passionate and they are very hungry for the game. We can see that this kids needs more of this and the likes for them. For sure with hard work and dedication we can excel.”
Highlights of the clinic include;
Lay-ups: Participants worked on basic right & left-handed lay-ups & jump shooting fundamentals
Jump Stops/Pivots & Ball Handling/Dribbling Fundamentals: Participants learnt the basic fundamentals of jump stops/pivots and ball handling/dribbling drills.
Passing Fundamentals: Participants will learn the basic fundamentals of passing and engage in variety passing drills.