Former D’Tigers captain, Olumide Oyedeji, has assured his commitment to the continuous development of basketball at the grassroots.
Oyedeji made this known during a press conference conducted by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN Ekiti State chapter, on Tuesday during his visit to the state.
The former national team captain told journalists he will set up a camp in Ekiti to put smiles on the faces of young girls and boys.
He explained that the creation of the boot camp is a means to develop youngsters across the country-a program he started 21 years ago.
According to the basketball legend, the Olumide Oyedeji Basketball Camp has had over 40,000 beneficiaries since its inception.
“It was something I was determined to do,” he said
“I came up with a theme for my own program, bright leadership empowerment, hopes and real basketball team, inter-collegiate basketball championship, read to succeed, readers to be leaders then basketball camp (academy) like what I want to do right here during with mentorship.”
While counting the gains of the pet project which he started over two decades ago, Oyedeji said he remains undeterred even though he has had to shoulder the responsibilities almost single-handedly.
He continued: “I’m doing all these programs by myself and for the past 21 years, 97% of it have been self-sponsored, you can see a couple of my players in Baltimore University, Washington State, over 300 on scholarship, over 100 who play across the national teams now and much more
“Things like this is what I could only do, can’t change it but do my best. I hope we have more people up there.
“I started this basketball camp 21 years ago, now we have more basketball ball camps, I love it. I have always wanted to be a pacesetter,” he added.
For Oyedeji, raising new talents that will surpass his achievement has been the driving force even though it has been a rough road.
“Anytime you feel like quitting, I always remember the reason for starting; to put smiles on boys’ and girls’ faces and help to develop them.
“I want to see better Olumides out there because we have them. If you want to be like Olumide Oyedeji, you are limiting yourself,” he concluded.
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