Winners of the 2017 edition of the Kwese Premier Basketball League will take home a whopping N45 million on September 9 when the season is concluded at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano.
This was disclosed by Tijjani Umar, the factional president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, on Wednesday in a press conference held at the Royal Tropicana Hotel, Kano.
Umar, stated that the KPL champions will get N20 million cash prize, while the second placed will get N15 million and the third, N10 million.
He stressed that the prize monies were approved by the sponsors, Kwese Sports, towards ensuring that Nigerian basketball players in the clubs and their officials are treated like true professionals and are given a sense of belonging.
“On behalf of the board, I say a very big thank you to Kwese for helping to truly transform Nigerian basketball and also for their continued confidence in us, despite the crisis, they stood very firm with the league. This shows the resilience of the satelite television company.
“We also sympathise with the three clubs that were stopped from participating in the final phases of the Kwese League: Mark Mentors, the Defenders and Rivers Hoopers. It’s sad to see desperate persons trying to grab the Kwese League from us by force. The league is for the players.”
It’s that same league that has provided a total prize money that rivals the Nigeria Premier Football League. This is massive for basketball in Nigeria.
“The entire Nigerian basketball family members are in Kano, except for those in the national team. The players, coaches, technical officials, statisticians and best eight clubs in the country are all in Kano for the Final 8. I sincerely congratulate the players and officials of Rivers Hoopers for publicly protesting against impunity in basketball. As we move closer to the November 30 deadline given by FIBA for a final resolution, things are happening and many more are being unravel.”
He revealed that the NOC has called an You meeting to hold in Abuja on Thursday to begin the road to resolution of the basketball issue. The issue in Nigerian basketball cannot be wished away, it cannot also be swept under the carpet. “We must sit on a round table to reach a resolution and if that doesn’t work, we are ready for fresh elections.”