NBA Africa in partnership with PanAfricare and ExxonMobil Foundation has flagged off the 10th edition of the Power Forward Finals in a three-day open exhibition from September 19-21 in Abuja.
Spearheading this year’s event will be the Nigerian Duo of Festus Ezeli, a 2015 NBA champion and 2015 AfroBasket champion, Olumide Oyedeji in the finals’ activities, with the latter tipping off the opener earlier today by leading a Junior NBA clinic for 1,200 boys and girls of ages 16 and below at the MO Arena.
“We are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Power Forward program as we build on our long-standing commitment to positively impacting the Abuja community,” said NBA Africa Vice President and Country Head of Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu.
Since its inception in 2013, the Power Forward youth development program has been consistently providing life skills and public health awareness seminars, malaria prevention workshops and basketball development programming to more than 250,000 boys and girls across 40 schools in the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria.
“Over the past decade, our partnership with NBA Africa and PanAfricare on the Power Forward initiative has promoted youth development through sports, life skills, and public health education.
“This impactful program has benefitted more than 250,000 young Nigerians and empowered them to use the leadership skills they learned to work towards a brighter future for Nigeria,” said ExxonMobil Foundation President, Alvin Abraham.
This year’s program, however, began with a basketball tournament from June through September that featured 30 boys’ teams and 12 girls’ teams, while the top eight girls’ teams and top 10 boys’ teams participated in the playoffs, and the top two girls’ and boys’ teams advancing from the playoffs to the Power Forward Finals.
In addition to the on-court tourney, the event is expected to feature an alumni summit ahead of tomorrow’s championship games at the M.K.O. Abiola National Stadium that will engage 500 former Power Forward participants on the program’s impact.
“The initiative utilizes the transformative power of basketball to educate young people about public health
awareness while instilling critical life skills such as teamwork and leadership and we’re encouraged by the influence the program has had to date.
“Power Forward in its 10th year has contributed to raising over 8,000 malaria champions and public health advocates.
“The positive impact of the project has transformed the lives of youths in 40 schools in the Federal Capital Territory. Through an effective and collaborative partnership, the project has metamorphosed into a model program which we look to continue to expand,” said PanAfricare Nigeria Country Director Dr. Patrick Adah.