By Eche Amos
A Non-profit Organisation, Jordan Nwora Foundation, has expressed its readiness to partner with the Nasarawa State Government to develop talents in basketball and the sport.
This was disclosed over the weekend by President of the Jordan Nwora Foundation, Hon. Anthony Nwora, at a special reception held in honour of the Foundation and its members in Lafia, the Nasarawa State Capital, by the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development in conjunction with the Andoma Foundation.
Explaining the rationale behind the choice of Nasarawa State for the talent hunt programme, the Foundation’s President said, “Nasarawa State is one of the progressive States in basketball in Nigeria, has an overwhelming hospitality, and shows more interest for the development of youth through the game of basketball.
“Nasarawa has also shown interest for the Foundation to be in the State today.
“Yes, we understand a couple of other International Foundations like the Harry Onochie Ezenibe Foundation and Christopher Ejike Ogboaja Foundation have come to the State for the same purpose in the past. We know all these people, we are a family, but this is because Nasarawa has been a welcoming State.
“But above all is the fact that the State is secure and safe for investors and this could not be possible without some breathtaking Government’s policies and the nature of the citizens here.
“We are so excited to be here because if not Nasarawa State, where else would you have recommended? This is the first State we are visiting in Nigeria, and by the grace of God, we hope that the assurance of the State Government to partner with us would be sustained, and hopefully, it won’t be our last time here.”
He assured that, given the right atmosphere, the Foundation would be holding annual events in the State.
“It’s our desire to make this a yearly event because in the game of basketball, with all the coaches we brought from the United States of America, after teaching the game, we have to also teach the coaches that would sustain those training programmes for the kids because we cannot be here all the time.
“Those coaches that will be trained will now continue with the legacies we have left behind before the next event.”
Anthony added that, though his foundation is not a scholarship-awarding organization, but is established to expose hidden potentials for better opportunities to enable them actualize their academic, leadership and basketball dreams in Nigeria and United States as well as become peace builders in their various communities.
Also, the President stated that part of the Foundation’s goals is to build solid basketball structures (courts) in the State and other vicinities.
On their parts, Assistant Coach at Niagara Community College, New York City, Nicolas Sepe, said Nasarawa State is endowed with an array of talents that can rule the basketball world which was what necessitated the team’s choice of the North-Central State.
While Omowunmi Saliu Rafiu ‘Kike’ who is a Director at the University of Delaware, USA, noted that another vital area of the Foundation’s goal is to give young women ample opportunity to explore their sporting talent, calling on parents and religious organisations to accord the same opportunity given to male children to the female children as female children can also make great sports professionals.
In his remarks, Nasarawa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Amb. Lucky Isaac Yargwa, thanked the Foundation and its members for choosing to partner with the State in the development of talents and basketball.
“On behalf of the State Government and the good people of the State, I welcome you to the land of boundless opportunities.
“Our joy today knows no bounds because what you have brought here is unrivalled and every reasonable Government will jump at it.
“It has been this administration’s aim to harness and develop talents for podium appearance, but the Government is over-burdened and overstretched with numerous other activities, making it pretty difficult to actualize all our set goals.
“But with your coming today, it’s a huge burden taken off, partly, from the Government.
“Our Principal, the Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule, continues to harp on partnership with relevant stakeholders and organisations to help achieve the “Exceeding All Expectations” mantra, and there is no better way to this than we are witnessing today.
“The beauty about this is the fact that it deals with a sport other than football, which is part of this administration’s aim, to diversify the sports industry.
“We are glad that you came, and rest assured that the Government will accord you all the necessary support to implement your programme here.
“For us, it’s not goodbye, but see you later, as we have adopted you as our own, and you can come and carry out your legal activities freely.”
At the palace of the Andoma of Doma, the Paramount Ruler and Grand Patron, North-central Basketball Association, HRH. Alh. Dr. Aliyu Ahmadu Ogah Onawo, appreciated the leadership of the Jordan Nwora Foundation for finding a safe haven in Nasarawa State.
He praised Jordan Nwora and his family for bringing glory and honour to their fatherland, Nigeria, through professional and international basketball.
“We thank you for what you are doing through basketball.
“Kindly note that your goodness has reached Doma and the wonderful people of Doma are appreciative of your contributions to the name and image of Nigeria.
“Your integrity has earned you great trust, because for Americans to join you for this programme to Nasarawa State, inspite of all the general misrepresentations about Nigeria, means a lot.
“For this noble feat, we are adopting you and your American coaches as sons of Doma Land.
“Henceforth, you will enjoy all the benefits every bonafide member of the Kingdom enjoys.”
He later prayed for the peace and prosperity of Nigeria and her citizens.
Other members of the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development delegation who received the team were the Covering Permanent Secretary, Umar Abubakar; Yakubu Abdullahi Balarabe(Director, Finance and Accounts); Mustapha Sani Bello(Director, Technical); Yusuf Ahmed(Director, Facilities); and Isa Mustapha(Director, Admin. & Supplies).
The Jordan Nwora Foundation delegation also had Alexander Nwora(Associate Head Coach, D’Tigers/Erie Community College, Buffalo, New York, USA); Omowunmi Saliu Rafiu ‘Kike'(Director, University of Delaware, USA); Rtd. Col. Sam. Ahmadu(President, FIBA Africa Zone 3/Member, NBBF, Africa Central Board, FIBA Legal Team, FIBA Technical Delegate/Camp Commandant); Spencer Gervasa(Asst. Coach, Cleveland College, Buffalo, New York, USA); Nicolas Sepe(Asst. Coach, Niagara Community College, Niagara, New York, USA); Musa Adamu(GM, D’Tigers), Martina Emmanuel(Head Coach, Benue State Basketball Association/Former D’Tigress); and Adamu Deshi Janlong(North Central Zonal Representative).
Executive Chairman, Doma Local Government Area, Arch. Ahmed Sarki Usman was on ground to receive the august visitors.
While Professor Maikano Ari (Federal University, Lafia/Director, Andoma Foundation) and Ayuba Tijanni(State Chairman, Nasarawa State Basketball Association) were on hand as local organizers and gave the Vote-of-Thanks.
The Jordan Nwora Basketball camp programme began on Sunday, 24th July, 2022, at the Lafia City Hall, now reschristened “Lafia Sports Arena” and will climax on Tuesday, 26th July.
Jordan Ifeanyi Nwora is an international basketball player who plays for Nigeria’s men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, as well as professionally for Milwaukee Bucks in the United States of America.
Highlights of the visit were the presentations of Jordan Nwora Foundation’s souvenir kits to the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Amb. Lucky Isaac Yargwa, and Andoma of Doma, Alh. Dr. Aliyu Ahmadu Ogah Onawo; cultural dance and conferment of chieftaincy titles by the Andoma of Doma and subsequent turbanning of Jordan Nwora as Osamanda Giga Gi’Doma(Sports Ambassador of Doma Land); Spencer Gervasa as Osamanda Ga’yibo Nyakwu Gi’Doma(Amb. Of USA 1 in Doma Land) and Nicolas Sepe as Osamanda Ga’yibo Kenge Gi’Doma (Junior Amb. Of USA in Doma Land).
Also turbaned were the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Amb. Lucky Isaac Yargwa; Rtd. Col. Sam Ahmadu; Coach Alexander Nwora; Omowunmi Saliu Rafiu ‘Kike’; Musa Adamu; Martina Emmanuel; Adamu Deshi Janlong and Ayuba Tijanni.