The 2017 edition of the DA-F basketball programme “back to school” clinic took place at the basketball court, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The one-day clinic is usually set aside for children and teenagers few days before school resumes.
This year’s edition was tagged “why you must go to school.” It featured distribution of writing materials, games, and motivational talk.
Organiser of the DA-F basketball and Rivers State basketball coach, Fubara Oyanabo told Aclsports.com the essence of the yearly summer programme for kids.
“The children need to be aware that they have to combine education and basketball. Education is much more important than sports because you can do sports till late 30s or even 40 but what happens after 40? That’s why the kids must see the need to go to school,” Oyanabo said.
Two former basketball players were in attendance to give the kids pep talk , Soso Bobmanuel and Mactabene Amachree.
The former WNBA star Amachree explained the importance of education in the life of an athlete.
“As much as God has blessed us with talents and we have the talent that can make money, you still need to stand tall. Also to remind them that sports is a platform that gets them there but education is the key right from when they were born. It’s a little bit different from what we had in the past , it takes a village to raise a child and we have to keep reminding them that education is key to success regardless of what you become in life.”
“Even if you cant get education because your parent don’t have the resources, then you get a chance to play sports and get the education,” she said.
Amachree is also the princess of the Ojuka Clan of the Kalabari people in Rivers state. The former D’Tigress captain moved to the US in 1998 at the age of 20. She made comparisons between the Nigerian and American parents.
“In the US , parents already know their kids will be in a basketball class or camp or they have tennis class, music class,they have all of these things set up from the beginning. The kids have the opportunity to try all of these activities while they are growing up and you start seeing the skills they are good at and they start focusing and narrowing it down to one.
Amachree made history in 2001 when she became the first Nigerian to play in the WNBA for New York Liberty.
“I am appealing to parent because I grew up in this neighborhood. I didn’t have what these kids have right now. I was the first person to leave Rivers State or Nigeria into the WNBA no one to talk to or help me fix my mistakes and that’s why I saw the need to talk to these kids , educate them and make sure they create their own path and give them the opportunity that I had to make them batter than what I did.”
The two time African champion used her life story as a case study for the kids .
“My biggest challenge was when I was struggling to get my Visa into USA. It’s easier for this generation. Back then, during late Gen Sanni Abacha’s regime there were a lot of sanctions from America and other parts of the world on Nigeria and I was a victim of that . I went there multiple times for my Visa and that was my major frustration because I was recruited by colleges in the state and it could have been easy for me to go college for four years and at the same time get drafted into the WNBA but God has a different plan for me and everything worked out differently . I remember some times I slept on a 6 spring bed without matress . My challenge in life exposed me to so many things and l am happy where I am today.”