The basketball veterans in Lagos under the umbrella of the First Lagos Veterans` Basketball (FLVBB) will host the veterans` basketball competition for the second year running to celebrate Nigeria`s 57th anniversary. The tournament tagged "The Legends are back" will feature veterans from four others cities - Ibadan, Ilorin, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
The first edition organised and hosted by FLVBB featured veterans from Ibadan, Port Harcourt and Ghana. According to the Head of the Local Organising Committee, Philip Braide, the essence of this gathering of legends and stars is to foster a strong united veterans community through camaraderie of sportsmanship nationwide.
"The motive is to foster unity among veterans nationwide by creating an avenue to network, relish memories from the past, and do what we love doing best competing in a fun-fair environment. There is currently no platform to showcase our passion for the game as veterans because the focus has always being on youth development and active players in different leagues"
This year`s edition we will be held at Rowe Park Sports Centre, the home ground of the First Lagos veterans as follows;
Arrival - 29 Sept
Basketball Games - 30 Sept & 1 Oct
Post Tournament Groove - 1 Oct
Departure - 2 Oct
Lagos will parade a start studded team with the likes of basketball legend Tunji Awojobi, ex-NBA player Olumide Oyedeji, FIBA Zone 3 President Col Sam Ahmedu, basketball entrepreneur Babalola "Webber" Opeyemi, Lagos Islanders owner Damoye Oyesiku. Port Harcourt vets will be led by ex-international Boumote Soubo, Abuja vets by Hamza Ibrahim, Ilorin vets by Rasheed Bello, while Ibadan will have Taiye Shobogun (Coach Oluyole Warriors) and Tunde Babalola (Founder, First DeepWater)
Apart from organising tournaments and playing basketball games, these basketball veterans are still contributing to the development of basketball in Nigeria collectively and individually, direct and indirectly.
"Capabilities and motivations differ, so individually most of the veterans are known to be contributing to the development of basketball in Nigeria as direct stakeholder or indirect stakeholders. In our fold are basketball administrators, coaches, scouts, team owners, and other professionals associated with improving the lots of the game and players. Most veteran clubs/members nationwide are known to organise development camps, sponsor basketball events, support players through mentor-ship and financially. Above all, veterans focus on youth development to accentuate growth and leave a legacy for the future".
The event organisers have promised to deliver a spectacular event with exciting activities lined up to celebrate the country`s independence. When asked what the younger generation can learn from such gathering of veterans, Philip Braide answered;
"Veterans strive to teach the younger generation the spirit of sportsmanship through our congregation to compete in an atmosphere of love. From the showpiece we are putting up we expect them to imbibe the spirit of selflessness, dedication, unity, & discipline.