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NBA Africa, Sports

Power Forward Finals Mark 10 Years of Youth Empowerment in Nigeria

This celebration of the Power Forward program’s tenth anniversary was held in Nigeria’s capital city, Abuja and it ran for three days.

  • Toyosi Afolayan
  • 26th September 2023
Power Forward

The 10th Power Forward Finals came to an end on Thursday, September 21, at the M.K.O. Abiola National Stadium in Abuja, with GSS Apo (“Apo Raptors”) winning the boys’ championship game and GSS Zone 3 (“Wuse Fever”) winning this year’s girls’ championship.


GSS Apo won the boys’ division after a spectacular basketball season that lasted from June through September. They did this by defeating GSS Zone 3. In the meantime, GSS Zone 3 won the girls’ division by defeating Total Child Model School. Twelve girls’ teams and thirty boys’ teams competed this season, with the top eight girls’ teams and top ten boys’ teams moving on to the playoffs. Next, the best players advanced to the Power Forward Finals.


As an integral part of these Finals, participants engaged in a captivating malaria jeopardy game and had access to malaria testing stations conveniently set up just outside the stadium.


This historic celebration of the Power Forward program‘s tenth anniversary lasted for three days. This youth development initiative, which was started in 2013, has had a significant impact by providing courses on malaria prevention, life skills, public health awareness, and basketball development. More than 250 000 boys and girls in 40 schools around Abuja have been impacted by the initiative.


A Jr. NBA clinic attended by 1,200 kids 16 and under added to the celebration, as did an alumni summit attended by notable figures including 2015 NBA champion Festus Ezeli and 2015 AfroBasket champion Olumide Oyedeji.


Reflecting on the program’s decade-long journey, ExxonMobil Foundation President Alvin Abraham shared his perspective: “Over the past decade, our partnership with NBA Africa and PanAfricare on the Power Forward initiative has promoted youth development through sports, life skills, and public health education. This impactful program has benefitted more than 250,000 young Nigerians and empowered them to use the leadership skills they learned to work towards a brighter future for Nigeria.”


Also expressing enthusiasm for the milestone, NBA Africa Vice President and Country Head of Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu, highlighted the transformative power of the initiative: “The initiative utilizes the transformative power of basketball to educate young people about public health awareness while instilling critical life skills such as teamwork and leadership, and we’re encouraged about the influence the program has had to date.”


PanAfricare Nigeria Country Director Dr. Patrick Adah underscored the positive change brought by Power Forward, stating: “Power Forward in its 10th year has contributed to raising over 8,000 malaria champions and public health advocates. The positive impact of the project has transformed the lives of youths in 40 schools in the Federal Capital Territory. Through an effective and collaborative partnership, the project has metamorphosed into a model program which we look to continue to expand.”


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