The maiden edition of the Intercollegiate Basketball Championship (IBC) for Nigerian Universities takes place later this year involving 32 teams. The teams will compete in 71 games producing one national champion.
Following the first edition of the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL) last year, organisers of the IBC, Vision Sports Management and Entertainment Company are putting together the basketball version for Federal, State and Private Universities.
In a public notice on their twitter handle @IBCNig, the organisers explained the aim and objectives of the competition and what Nigerian student athletes stand to gain from the tournament.
“Dear Nigerian students, we at Intercollegiate Basketball Championship have taken up the duty of bringing talented Nigerian athletes out to the spot light, making Nigerian student athletes an item of fame to the nation and beyond giving them the recognition they deserve.”
Although the prize money is undisclosed for now, it is expected that the national champion will be the biggest beneficiary while the other participating universities go home with earnings based on their final position.
ACLSports.com gathered that the teams are to use their earnings to pay wages of their players and other logistics. Also, the universities might be mandated to give free scholarship to reduce internet fraudsters, social vices and provide source of living for student athletes.
No team is expected to pay any fee for participation and only students of each universities are eligible to play but there could be age limit. In curbing the use of mercenaries and other defaulters, the tournament organisers plan to work with the administrative arm of the schools to avoid the use of mercenaries.
In addition, all players in the IBC must not play professionally or play for a professional team while playing the IBC. The organisers tend to limit the eligibility to just student athletes and not players who play in the Nigerian league or other leagues in the world. And if an athlete turns professional after playing the IBC in the first season, he must withdraw his participation from the IBC before the commencement of the next edition.
The Intercollegiate Basketball Championship is expected to take place between late August and early October to fit in with the Academic calendar of most universities.