Newly elected President of the Nigerian Basketball Federation, Ahmadu Musa Kida envisions the day Nigerian basketball players will be able to afford the superstar lifestyle of their American NBA counterparts and is devoting his term to a realization of that dream.
In an interview with Godwin Enakhena, the man popularly called AMK in basketball circles outlined his plans for the growth of the game beginning with a homegrown policy to develop local talents.
“My dream for Nigeria basketball during my tenure is for me to have the pleasure to see a basketball player who is based in Nigeria and plays in Nigeria, coming to a practice session in his owned S-Class Mercedes Benz, coming from a home he bought and sending his kids to school all from the worth of the sweat of his talent as a paid basketball player. Of course this extends to the whole value chain including the coaches, referees, technical bench and sponsors deriving more benefits than what they put in,” he began.
The Deputy Managing Director of TOTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited has also laid down the ground rules on how he intended to achieve his lofty dreams for the game.
“Our mindset is what must change immediately. It's not about me versus you, but it's about allowing the game of basketball to be played all over the country which must be the focus. We need to improve how the national leagues are structured, and evolve initiatives that will keep our players busy all round the year.”
Kida also stated his credentials in the game to disabuse the notion that he was a novice in the game of basketball.
He said: “I started playing basketball from Federal Government College (FGC) Sokoto around 1975 during Inter House Sports, represented my school while at the same time I was representing Borno State intermediate team. I was part of the Ahmadu Bello University team that won Nigeria Universities Games (NUGA) gold in 1980, 1982 and a silver medal in 1984. I also won a gold medal in 1988 with the University of Port Harcourt. I was a member of the Nigerian junior national team (with Hakeem Olajuwon) that won bronze in Angola in 1980 as well as a member of ABU team to the West African Universities Games (WAUG) in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast and in the Nigeria national team to the World Universities Games in Romania in 1981 amongst others.”
Until his election to the NBBF presidency, Kida was the chairman Rivers State Basketball Association, South-South Zonal Representative and the Secretary General of Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) AFRICA Zone III.