Fourteen outstanding players at the just-concluded Noah Dallaji Legacy Basketball Tournament have been picked for further mentoring at various universities in the United States (U.S) and Canada.
The weeklong U-17 basketball tournament, which also featured entertainment by music and dance stars, was organised by the Noah Dallaji sponsored-African Children’s Talent Discovery Foundation (ACTDF) in collaboration with Olumide Oyedeji Foundation. It included mentorship and life coaching programmes in which many stars interfaced with youths from various parts of the Northern region to teach, inspire, and advice them on various career paths in sports and entertainment.
According to the Tournament Director, Olumide Oyedeji, among the 14 students picked for further nurturing in various universities in the United States are Solomon Mark (Kaduna), Zakari Tahir of Kano, who was the most valuable player, Obinna Azu Anthony (Plateau), Adamu Adamu (Kebbi) and Sunday Josiah (Kwara). They have adjudged the best players of the tournament.
In the final games of the tournament, Kano defeated Kaduna 74-72 to emerge victorious, while Plateau took third place with a win over Kebbi.
Speaking at the occasion, the sponsor, Noah Dallaji, an engineer, said his vision is to provide a platform to discover and support talented and serious-minded Nigerian youths to develop and excel in various fields.
“Nigeria can be great if we help the youths to discover their talents and support them to grow and achieve fulfillment. That is how great nations emerge.”
Popular comedian, movie producer, and entertainment show host, Ayo Makun, said he shares in the commitment of Dallaji and the ACTDF.
“The biggest problem in the entertainment industry is for young talents to get people to support them. But, we have found one in Dallaji. He is full of life and ready to support. I have followed his contributions and I can tell you that if we can have about four or five persons like him, this country will be great.”
Also at the event were former Super Eagles forward, who is now president of the Nigeria Players Union, Tijani Babangida, celebrity dancer, Kaffe; movie icon, Francis Duru; Super Eagles former midfielder, Garba Lawal and Atlanta 1996 gold medal-winning goalkeeper, Emmanuel Babayaro.
Babayaro echoed the sentiments of his colleagues when he said: “Dallaji is the only one currently focusing investment in the youths, but the youths are not the only beneficiaries. He brings in the best hands in every field to deliver the programmes and provides gainful engagement for all fields of professionals to tap from.”
The finals of the tournament were a show stopper as songstress Yemi Alade, Peter Okoye (of P-Square), Rekado Banks, Deja, AY, and other top and local acts thrilled the participants.