Jethro Sam-Marcus was already in 6`2`` in Junior Secondary School and like every other tall young kid, he was interested in basketball. He would watch the game on TV but he could not play because his school, Niger Delta Science School did not have basketball facilities to support his passion. When he started applying to Universities for his degree, availability of a basketball court was a primary consideration. Hence, his choice for Covenant University.
`My interest in basketball started long before the university but I didn`t have the opportunity. The only time I had the opportunity was when I got to the University because I stayed in Port Harcourt and where I stayed was very far from where people trained to play basketball. I didn`t play basketball until my first year at the University and I went to Covenant because I heard they had a basketball court and stuff`
Six years after, Jethro is a corp member at the Government Science and Technical College, Okaka, Yenegoa; and the students their remind him so much of his days in Secondary School because just like NDSS, the Technical College does not have basketball facilities. He saw the huge gap in sports infrastructure in the school and he has decided to build an outdoor basketball court as his personal Community Development Scheme (CDS).
`The school I am serving does not have any sporting facility, they have a net for volleyball but all they have for basketball is the ball. And seeing those children, it`s like seeing a reflection of myself. If I had the opportunity in sec school, possibly I would be doing far better than I am now with basketball. If they have that opportunity at a young age, they will do better.`
`Here in Bayelsa, there`s only one place you can train - the sports complex. You`ll see so many children - most of them stay quite far - trek a long distance to go and train and back. The complex closes at 5, school closes around 2 pm. Training starts at 2.30pm. If they had that in their school, during their lunch breaks instead of kicking a football, they can just train there.`
Jethro has discussed his project with the school Principal and games master. A piece of land within the school premises has been approved for the outdoor court and construction work is expected to commence soon.
Government Science and Technical College, Okaka
He has set up a crowdfunding account and needs the support of basketball enthusiast around the country to fund his basketball project.
In addition to cash contributions, he is also open to other donations for the school like basketball shoes, sports jerseys, balls etc. He thinks this will further encourage the students to play the sport.
Jethro can be contacted through his Twitter account @Jetty_Boy and his email address firstname.lastname@example.org