AFD and NBA Africa unveil newly refurbished court as part of Jr. NBA
Posted : 15 September 2023
NBA Africa and the Agence Française de Dévelopement (AFD) unveiled a newly refurbished court at the Campos Stadium, as part of the Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience program in Lagos.
The refurbishment project, which commenced in June in collaboration with the Lagos State Sports Commission, (LSSC) will benefit youth from Lagos and surrounding communities by providing them with more opportunities to learn and play the game of basketball.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann; Consul General of France in Lagos, Laurent Favier; AFD Director for Nigeria, Xavier Muron; NBA Africa VP and Country Head of NBA Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu; 2003 WNBA Champion, Astou Ndiaye; and Dream Sports Africa Founder & CEO, Chenfa Domain. Following the court unveiling, NBA Africa & AFD hosted a Jr. NBA clinic for 70 boys and girls to celebrate the newly refurbished court.
Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience program is part of AFD and NBA Africa’s larger collaboration to support youth development through basketball across the continent and builds on the inaugural Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience launched in Zenata, Morocco in 2019. In November 2021, AFD and NBA Africa initiated a pilot phase in Lagos implemented by the international non-governmental organization Dream Sports Africa.
To date, the program has reached more than 34,000 boys and girls ages 12-17 from 55 public and private schools in Lagos State.
The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann said that the commissioning of the basketball court was significant.
“Today marks a significant milestone in our collaboration with Nigeria, as we inaugurate this basketball court. Sport has the power to unite people, and this project exemplifies the strong ties between France, AFD, and Nigeria in promoting youth empowerment and skill development through sport.
“I am convinced that having this dedicated sharing space will enable young girls and boys to become changemakers in their local communities.”
AFD Director for Nigeria, Xavier Muron said: “We are thrilled to witness the opening of Lagos' first basketball court as part of the Basketball Experience program, made possible through our joint efforts with the NBA and Lagos State Sports Commission to promote social inclusion, sustainable development, and gender equality.
“This new facility will have an even greater impact on the deployment of education through sports activities in schools, by providing young people with a space in which to practice and realize their full potential.”
NBA Africa VP and Country Head of NBA Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu added: “The unveiling of the newly refurbished court in partnership with AFD is a testament to our continued efforts to use the power of sport to positively impact African youth.
“We remain committed to using the game as a vehicle for driving positive social and economic change in Nigeria and we hope that the new basketball court will encourage more young boys and girls to play the game and live healthy, active lifestyles.”
Dream Sports Africa Founder and CEO, Chenfa Domain said: “Dream Sports Africa exists to create young leaders through sports and Basketball Experience. This newly refurbished basketball court, will transform the physical well-being, mental health, and life skills of thousands of young boys and girls across Lagos State.
“Sports can transform the lives of individuals and communities through physical, psychological, emotional, and social well-being and development. In Nigeria, basketball plays a significant role in our culture and communities while speaking to youth in a language they understand. Innovative partnerships, such as Basketball Experience, empower youth with educational and engaging learning experiences that prepare them for life after school and the future.”
2003 WNBA Champion, Astou Ndiaye said: “I am thrilled to be back in Nigeria and take part in the Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience in Lagos. Sport has the power to change lives and I hope this new basketball court will inspire more young people to play the game, stay active and learn from each other as their development continues through this initiative and beyond.”