D’Tigers ex-captain, Olumide Oyedeji, who is currently on the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) board, has launched a grassroots programme tagged ‘Generation Next Basketball Showcase.’
He said the programme would commence across Lagos on September 17.
Oyedeji added the talent hunt programme would last for six weeks, with teams divided into groups.
The courts are in Ilupeju, Ajegunle, Oworonsoki and Ikorodu, with Ilupeju basketball hosting the opening game.
The project is coming just days after the Olumide Oyedeji Basketball Camp, which featured over 400 children, ended.
According to the Olumide Oyedeji Youth Foundation (OOYF), the current programme will feature over 300 children below the age of 17 years from basketball academies within Lagos State.
Speaking at a press conference at the weekend, which had the Director General of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Oluwatoyin Gafar, in attendance, founder of OOYF, Olumide Oyedeji said: “The Generation Next Games will be played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for the next six weeks.
“Teams will be grouped according to their zones for ease of access.
“Following the conclusion of the Showcase mode, there will be a final four weekend and All Stars game, alongside other activities before the Classic phase begins with six franchises formed from a combined draft system.”
“60 players, out of over 300 players that participated in the first phase, will be selected into a draft pool. The selected players will undergo workouts, physical tests and play games before getting drafted into teams,” he said.
Explaining the reason for the project, Oyedeji said: “We wanted to provide a platform and opportunities for these kids to get ready for the next level, have a taste of professionalism, get them ready for high schools and colleges.
“Players who excel during the competition expected to last for 16 weeks will be rewarded. Successful players will get scholarships to high schools and colleges depending on their age,” he said.
Excited by the project, Director General, Lagos State Sports Commission, Gafar lauded the initiative, promising that the state, which is at the forefront of sports development in the country, will not stop backing the project.