Ace Basketball Player Olumide Oyedeji on Tuesday said that he dreamt of having the replica of Access Bank Lagos City Marathon in basketball in Nigeria.
Oyedeji, a retired national team, D’Tigers, player made the assertion this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while reviewing the success of the just-concluded long distance race.
Oyedeji, who was a special guest at the 42 Km marathon, said he was ecstatic about Nigeria hosting a basketball event of such magnitude.
He said that Nigeria hosting a FIBA World Cup is not a utopian dream if those in charge of basketball administration would rise to the challenge posed by Access Bank Lagos City Marathon.
“I sincerely pray that we have such an event like this marathon replicated in basketball like Nigeria hosting the FIBA World Cup; I pray it happens, and I have not lost hope.
“Although we don’t have the facilities yet, I believe we can get there if the administrators get their onions right.
“If we so desire it, we have the atmosphere which can be likened to what we have here. We only need to put the machinery in places like the facilities and sponsorships.
“We can have the government and corporate bodies come together to form a partnership. It is possible, it has been displayed here,’’ he said.
Oyedeji said that it would take Nigeria to measure up to the international standard of a good gymnasium and a standard basketball court before the country could bid for the FIBA World Cup.
“Although we have a long way to go, we don’t have the facilities yet, not even a single standard gym in Nigeria, but we can start somewhere.
“To host a FIBA World Cup, we will need about four standard gyms with 6,000 capacities; we don’t even have one; the best we have is in Abuja which is not up to the approved standard.
“If we can host the world in an event such as the Lagos marathon, then it is possible to have a basketball World Cup in Nigeria as well.
“The administrators need to put themselves together to chart a good course for the game and we will be better as a country and others will take us serious,’’ he said.