Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) factional president, Tijjani Umar has been conferred with an Excellence Award based on the achievement of his board in the area of grassroots basketball development as well the development of the game to the international level since he took over the at the helm of affairs in 2009.
The award conferred on him by Hilsaint Global Sports, a sports consultancy outfit based in Jos and organisers of the Plateau Sports Excellence Awards; according to Mbum Ferdinard, who presented the award at the VIP Lounge of the Murtala Square lndoor Hall in Kaduna was in recognition of Umar’s continuous quest for basketball development in Nigeria and Africa. ” Plateau Sports Excellence Award is an award held in Jos to recognise those who have done exceptionally well in sports development in the country. Tijjani Umar was doing his thing developing basketball and little did he know that people are taking notice. This is to tell him that Nigerians were taking notice of his developmental strides in basketball. So, in the national category he was singled out to be honoured based on his efforts at repositioning basketball in Nigeria which has seen the country’s basketball develop from national to international level. Today, Nigeria’s basketball is among the world super powers. In the area of sponsorships, he has done very well and the world today recognises the achievements and development of our national teams particularly D’Tigers and D’Tigress.”
The recipient, Tijjani Umar described the award as a recognition to a collective effort of his board describing it as an institutional and collective achievement rather than personal. ” I want to express gratitude to the organizers of this award. Sometimes back the Sports Writers of Nigeria (SWAN), Abuja branch honoured me same way and the national body of SWAN also did same in Yankari, Bauchi State, but these are not personal achievements. I see them as institutional achievements borne out of the collective effort of my board. These awards are for every genuine stakeholder in Nigerian basketball. I must confess that bringing basketball to this level was not easy and providing leadership in this challenging environment is tough because there is no level playing field.”
Umar called on basketball followers, enthusiasts and sponsors not to mind the current dispute in the game’s administration but see it as a passing phase that is part of basketball development. ” I am happy to be part of the development of the game so far and look forward to better days ahead. Nigerians should see what is happening today as a passing phase and part of development of the game. Our sponsors should know that at the end, it will ensure stability and sustainable basketball development.” He concluded.