Rivers State boys’ team and girls’ team of Bayelsa state hit the jackpot following their gold medal heroics at the just concluded National Youth Games in Ilorin.
The latest cash rain for coaches and players came at the behest of the outgoing South-South Zonal representative on the board of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, Engr Musa Kida.
Rivers defeated Bauchi 16-15pts in the 3×3 boys finals while Bayelsa successfully defended their National Youth Games titles in the girls category beating Kaduna 16-11pts in the final.
Kida who in the last 4 years presided over the most successful era in the history of Nigerian basketball doled out cash rewards for coaches and the players.
It is on record that the 3×3 format started in the South South Zone through the Ahmadu Musa Kida (AMK) foundation going round the state capitals annually with its dedicated floors and truck to organise 3×3 basketball competitions before it became a national phenomenon.
He has also gone a step further to facilitate the purchase and distribution of brand new playing shoes for all players of the two teams.
The initiative is to encourage the youngsters to strive for more success as they forge a path in their career.
“At this stage, it was just a significant gesture to let the players and officials know that people are watching. These are still kids whose motivation cannot be money based at this formative stage”, Kida said.
“So, rather than announce a big cash reward for them, we decided to give them stipends while converting the bulk of the cash to sporting gears that will help their development”.
Kida praised Rivers and Bayelsa for being a worthy ambassador of the zone while encouraging other states to emulate the duo.