AFD and NBA Africa unveil newly refurbished court as part of Jr. NBA & AFD basketball experience
NBA Africa and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) unveiled a newly refurbished court at the Campos Stadium, on Thursday.
●15th September 2023
In a bid to bolster youth development through basketball, NBA Africa and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) joined forces to unveil a newly refurbished court at the Campos Stadium in Lagos on Thursday, September 14. This initiative is part of the Jr. NBA and AFD Basketball Experience program, aimed at providing opportunities for young talents to learn and play the game of basketball.
The ambitious refurbishment project, launched in June in partnership with the Lagos State Sports Commission, is set to benefit aspiring basketball enthusiasts from Lagos and its surrounding communities. The upgraded facility promises to be a space where dreams are nurtured and talent is cultivated.
The court’s unveiling ceremony was graced by distinguished guests, including the 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 Dombin.
Following the court unveiling, NBA Africa and AFD jointly organized a Jr. NBA clinic that welcomed 70 boys and girls, providing them with the perfect platform to hone their basketball skills and celebrate the newly refurbished court.
The Jr. NBA & AFD Basketball Experience program is part of a broader collaboration between AFD and NBA Africa, focusing on youth development through basketball across the African continent. This initiative builds on the success of 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, which was implemented by the international non-governmental organization Dream Sports Africa. To date, the program has reached over 34,000 boys and girls aged 12–17, hailing from 55 public and private schools in Lagos State.
French Ambassador Emmanuelle Blatmann, during the court’s inauguration, emphasized its significance, stating, “Today marks a significant milestone in our collaboration with Nigeria as we inaugurate this basketball court.” She recognized the unifying power of sports, highlighting its role in strengthening ties between France, AFD, and Nigeria.
Ambassador Blatmann passionately stated, “Sports have the power to unite people,” acknowledging its ability to bridge divides and inspire collective action. She underscored the project’s focus on youth empowerment and skill development through sport.
She concluded by expressing her belief that the refurbished court would empower young girls and boys to become changemakers in their local communities. Her words echoed the project’s aspiration to cultivate a new generation of leaders using the transformative power of sports.
Xavier Muron, AFD Director for Nigeria was also present and he went on to express his excitement, stating, “We are thrilled to witness the opening of Lagos’ first basketball court as part of the Basketball Experience program.” He emphasized the collaborative efforts with the NBA and the Lagos State Sports Commission.
Muron outlined the project’s goals, focusing on promoting social inclusion, sustainable development, and gender equality. He highlighted the court’s significance as a space for young people to practice and realize their full potential, amplifying the impact of sports-based education.
His words encapsulated the project’s commitment to youth empowerment and holistic development, underscoring its role in shaping a brighter future for Nigeria’s youth.
Gbemisola Abudu, NBA Africa VP and Country Head of NBA Nigeria expressed their unwavering commitment, stating, “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.”
Abudu reiterated their dedication to harnessing the game of basketball as a vehicle for driving positive social and economic change in Nigeria. The refurbished court, in its vision, is poised to serve as an inspirational hub, encouraging more young boys and girls to not only engage in the sport but also embrace healthy, active lifestyles.
The NBA and its partners’ larger goal was captured in Abudu’s words, which highlighted their commitment to using sports’ transformative power to significantly improve the lives of African kids.
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