You have played for Pfeiffer University, MTSU and currently a star for D’Tigers and Eko Kings as a point guard. How has the experience been playing the game in the two different climes?
At the end of the day basketball is basketball, and the rule of the game is to outscore the opponent. But I would say the things that differ are the levels of athleticism, the speed of the game, and then the IQ level of the players. Each country I have played in during my career has its ups and downs.
Basketball is not followed with enthusiasm in the country like football with the game lacking fans, sponsorship from corporate organizations and interest from the government. What do you think is responsible for this and what can be done to renew commitment to the game?
I actually believe Nigerians are basketball fans, just not like football. What we need is better facilities for fans to come and watch, better promotion from Nigerians like mysel who actually played the game. I believe we know what we wanted as players, so we’ll know what the fans and people want as well. I believe what Ugo Udezue is doing right now is MAJOR in the growth of basketball in Nigeria. What is needed is for the younger professionals to add to it. The Nigerian professionals who still are playing to come back home and been more active in the community. Not only when they have to be in Nigeria for National team camp.
How are you giving back to the game of basketball and how can you help build the sport in the South East to raise future champions like yourself?
Right now I am giving back by doing my Kelechi Anuna Shoe Drive, which helps give away shoes to kids so they can train and play. I can help in the SouthEast by doing camps, helping do local tournaments, etc.
How can sports solve youth restiveness in the South East as a source of empowerment?
Sports in itself can work wonders, whether it be to solve youth restiveness, joblessness and bad health.
Nnamdi Odumody is the Director of Research and Strategic Partnerships at Wiretooth Technologies, an organization which believes in using technology to ensure digital transformation across different verticals. He is a Strategist and passionate about the Socio Economic Transformation of Igboland.