African Tourney: 75 Male, Female Volleyball Players Hit Kaduna Camp

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From Kanayo Jubal
As part of preparations for the African U-20 and U-21 tournaments scheduled for the latter part of the year, a total of 75 players have reported to the Nigerian Volleyball Federation  (NVBF) open camp in Kaduna. 
The players – 40 males and 35 females – resumed camp on Monday at the Umar Musa Yar’Adua Indoor Sports Hall, Murtala Mohammed Square, Kaduna.
According to the technical director of the NVBF, Martins Melandie, those in camp would be guided by six seasoned coaches, as the NVBF remains interested in talents’ discovery and development.
“We are making good progress. Those that distinguish themselves will be selected and be a part of the feeder side of the national team.
“The camp will last for a week. After that, we will go into ‘closed camping’ late in July or early in August, where we will pick 20 players each for both teams,” he added.
As for the ladies, Melandie explained that those selected would make up the squad to represent Nigeria in the continental tourney billed for Kenya in August.
Both teams would be handled by Musa Baba Musa (women’s head coach) and Elishama Elam (male head coach).
Nigeria’s Basket Ball Culture Is Amazing 
Having pledged his allegiance to Nigeria in 2003, new D’Tigers’ point guard, Ben Uzoh, has confessed to being thrilled by the degree of acceptance of basketball in Nigeria.
Uzoh, who is a member of the 2015 Afrobasket silver-winning team in Tunisia said coming home to see the level of acceptance during the last 2019 FIBA World cup qualifiers hosted in Lagos was an “indescribable feeling.”
Uzoh, who stars for Mexican outfit CB Caballero De Culican, said the turnout of fans during D’Tigers’ training and games, in addition to the media awareness, has raised his hopes regarding a better future for the game.
“The culture is growing. Obviously, football has been around for years. For ages, we have been angling to have the game of basketball come up and carve out its own niche. It’s great to see the support from the youths, the federation and, hopefully, in future, the government. It’s good to have events like this, a platform that can be emulated for years to come.”

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