As part of efforts to change the face of Nigeria Basketball, players’ representative on the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Ejike Ugboaja has revealed plans by the federation to fix a minimum wage for home based players.
Ugboaja made this known after a 2-day retreat with players plying their trade in the Nigeria Basketball League (Premier League, Division 1, Division 2 and Zenith Women Basketball League) in Lagos.
Ugboaja who rose through the ranks in the national team during a career that spanned 17 years, said Musa Kida NBBF-led board is poised to protect the interest of players.
“As a federation, we are going to enter into a discussion with clubs to decide on a minimum wage for players in the league system. I am going to serve them and do exactly what they expect of me and no player will be left behind.”
According to Ugboaja who is also the President of the Basketball Players Association of Nigeria (BAPAN), the players associations will step in on behalf of players to look for educational opportunities home and abroad as part of their new policy direction to encourage players to combine education with sports.
The former Cleveland Cavaliers player who was drafted straight from the Nigerian league pointed out that the Afrobasket success of the women’s team in Mali, the silver medal winning team of D’Tigers in Tunisia and the recent achievement of the boys and girls 3×3 teams was largely due to the improvement in players’ welfare.
“What we have been seeing in the past is basketball with a whole lot of politics. But with a man who has played the game now in charge of its administration, we are rest assured that he knows what the game is all about and what the players stand for,”Ugboaja submitted.
Another meeting is slated for Saturday, 7th of October with players in the Savannah Conference at the Package B of the Abuja National Stadium.