Founder and President of Future Stars Basketball Academy, James Nwabueze, has reacted angrily to the calls by some disgruntled members of the Nigerian basketball community for Engr. Ahmadu Musa Kida, the current chairman, caretaker committee of Nigeria Basketball Federation ( NBBF), to leave the leadership of the sport.
Reacting to an online publication in which former basketball player and board member of the NBBF, Osita Nwachukwu, categorically condemned the leadership of Kida as NBBF boss, Coach Nwabueze described the comments as stupid and uncharitable.
“I wonder what Osita and his gang, want Musa Kida to do to satisfy them. As a former basketballer and now, owner of an academy, I can tell you that Nigerian basketball was practically in a state of comatose, when Kida assumed office.
“It is wrong for Osita or anyone to blame the outgoing NBBF board led by Kida, for its inability to organize the senior men’s basketball league. We knew how the unfortunate court battles hampered plans by Kida and his board to hold the league. It’s a shame that Osita is accusing Kida of killing basketball in Nigeria.
“What’re contributions of Osita to the development of basketball? Was he not a member of the NBBF?”, Nwabueze asked rhetorically.
While taking his time to diligently respond to what he called litany of lies and campaign of calumny, Nwabueze, went ahead to state the unimpressive performances of the female and male national basketball teams at recent championships, was a blip that happens in sports.
“We must accept the facts that basketball in Nigeria, has never enjoyed such followership and support until Kida came on board. Imagine the love and huge expectations of Nigerians whenever our boys and girls are playing. This new found love is due to the hardwork, resourcefulness and of course, patriotic zeal of Musa Kida.
“I can also tell you that Kida has personally, spent hundreds of million naira on the development of the game and on the national teams. Leading to the Olympic games, he camped the national teams for two months in USA.
Nwabueze was quick to rubbish claims that the NBA players who represented Nigeria at the Olympic games refused to come for the Afrobasket because they are frustrated with the NBBF.
It’s a big lie to say the NBA players who played for us at the Olympics didn’t come for the Afrobasketball because they are frustrated or whatever. It is a public fact that these players couldn’t participate in Afrobasketball because of the wrong timings by FIBA for the championship, as these players are back in summer camp training for their respective teams,” Nwabueze said.
Nwabueze likened Osita’s call for the resignation of national team coach Mike Brown, to cries of a weather-beaten saddist.
“Only a saddist and enemy of progress would call for Mike Brown’s resignation. Today, Nigeria is highly rated in the world basketball community. The development of the game in Nigeria, as well as, its attraction to Nigerians home and diaspora, is also credited to the good works of Mike Brown and his dedication to the game in Nigeria.
“Let Osita and his band sing another song. They are beginning to sound like a broken record,” Nwabueze further remarked.