After three years of waiting, the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries has finally received the approval of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to participate in the Zenith Women’s Basketball League.
Following MFM’s involvement in Tennis, Wrestling and Football, it was time the church got involved their female folks in sports like they have done in the past most notably is World Silver Medallist in Wrestling Queen, Odunayo Adekuoroye.
MFM director of Sports, Godwin Enakhena revealed to ACLSports.com why the church decided to go into women basketball.
“We started out with a 70-point agenda of our General Overseer, Dr Daniel Olukoya and sports was one of them. Like you are aware, MFM has a wrestling, table tennis and football teams. And we harkened to the ceaseless calls from sisters in the church to play a team sports,” he started.
“Three years ago, I wrote to the TJ Umar group for a slot in the league. While we were at it, the crisis in basketball started. So we have been on it for a long time and basketball was just it for us because we wanted a team sport that conforms with our beliefs.”
Enakhena continued,” Olumide Oyedeji and I have been talking for so long. We (MFM) wrote to both factions concerning the issue since Engineer Musa Kida is taking care of international affairs while Tijani Umar does the running of the league. We were told that as things are going Kida is the one we should talk to about it.”
With the Zenith Women’s League reportedly set to tipoff first week of next month, it comes as a very cheering news to the church who will be making their first outing in the women’s league.
“I heard that the Kida group will be organising a league in November so I called the NBBF secretary, Chimezie Asiegbu and asked him what’s going on and he said he thought we weren’t interested anymore and I was like our letters have been there from TJ and now to Engineer Kida. After giving me details, I indicated our interest and that’s how we got the approval.”
Meanwhile, interested players have been invited to join MFM Amazons nick named Shade Olukoya Queens ahead of next month and with a coach set to be announced soon. Enakhena said he is confident former D’Tigers assistant coach, Adewunmi Aderemi will take charge of the team with no set targets.
“We contacted Adewunmi Aderemi long time ago and he has been a friend since he was at Lagos Islanders. I told him about it and he said anytime I am ready to start a female team he is ready.
“I don’t set unrealistic targets for anyone, it’s one step at a time. First step is to announce our arrival in the basketball scene we don’t necessarily have to win but we will strive to remain in the league. Play good basketball, win as many games as possible, that is not to say if he wins the league we won’t be happy, but for a start, we just want to play.”
MFM Amazons have promised to attract fans and private sponsorship with good basketball, players of good character and basketball without violence.
The seasoned journalist is confident MFM will sustain the project on a long term plan.
“If we can sustain a football team that is capital intensive, then basketball which is far cheaper won’t be a problem. In women basketball, teams converge at a venue to play games, and the top two teams go on to play in the final at a particular venue. So, the sport is less expensive and you don’t even need more than 15 players to play, 12 players prosecute a game and if you are travelling let’s say you go with a maximum of 20 but for football you have 35 persons and it’s every weekend.
“We are in this long term and I do know that church members who are women would want to be associated with the basketball team than football. I am confident we can do it and sustain it,” he concluded.