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Youths commended for great basketball skills

18 May 2015, 17:31

Lagos - Nigerian youths have received accolades for their commitment and focus to becoming great basketball players in the nearest future.

Speaking during the second launch of the Power Forward project, ExxonMobil Media and Communications Manager, Oge Udeagha commended the commitment of the over 300 youths involved.

 “We are glad at the impact that the Role Models are having on the kids. Olumide Ayodeji the national basketball team captain and Chiney Ogwumike, the Connecticut Sun 2014 WNBA rookie of the year are great examples of people who have achieved a lot during a very young age who are tremendous inspiration for the youths here.”

The Power Forward pilot program was launched in 2013 in partnership with the ExxonMobil, NBA, Africare, local school and education officials. It had Nigerian Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon, fellow countryman and former NBA player Obinna Ekezie, and three-time WNBA Champion Swin Cash in attendance.

The second season of the ‘Power Forward’ project program includes basketball games, clinics, life skills seminars and train-the-trainer sessions for the coaches, culminating in a 2015 Boys and Girls Power Forward final game.

Also read: Union Bank, Islanders clash as DStv league resumes

At the launch, ExxonMobil Nigeria Upstream Treasurer, Anibor Kragha said that the company’s philosophy for supporting the project is that, “a productive, healthy and educated society is a place to do business.”

The Power Forward curriculum incorporates leadership training and health awareness through a combination of classroom and athletic activities, with student evaluations at different stages of the initiative. In addition, each school has a coach assigned to oversee the curriculum, guide students through lessons, and monitor progress.

The event is in partnership with the National Basketball Association and Africare where basketball is used to develop health, leadership and life skills among Nigerian youth.

On the average, ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria commits about $10 to $12 million (US Dollars) annually to sustainable, long-term initiates among which is the Nigeria/ExxonMobil Track and Field Championship which has produced a great number of the Nigeria's best athletes during a period spanning two decades.

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