Despite being the first basketball team to qualify for the prestigious Nigerian Premier Basketball League, NPL, Anambra Flames, may not play at the competition when it kicks off a few days from now, due to paucity of funds.
The coach of the club, Ifeanyi Modo, who lamented the plight of the team, said the club will need the support of personalities and corporate entities from the zone to keep the dream of playing at NPL alive.
According to him, the recent elevation of the club from Division One to the prestigious NPL, which a club from the SE is achieving for the first time in history, came at a huge sacrifice for the players and the management crew.
“We have some challenges and I really need to let people know, especially people from the South East zone, and Anambra particularly,” he said.
“Our club, Anambra Flames is the first basketball team to qualify for the premier basketball league in Nigeria from the SE zone, and it would be shameful if they fail to participate in the league due to lack of funds.
“Our director, Paul Ejike Medos, who is a retired basketball international from Anambra State has been trying, bearing the financial burden of the club, which he has fought to bring to the premiership now.
“But there is little only one man can do, which is why we need the support of everyone at this time, so we participate fully in the games.
“We hope to sign on new players, we hope to get better facilities, and hopefully these would happen when the team holds its training and recruitment camp in the south east zone to seek fresh and talented players who will make the team,” he added.
He said this is a great opportunity to build the basketball game in the south east zone and a chance to engage the youths meaningfully.
Anambra Flames won three out of the five matches they played during the competition which held in Ilorin, Kwara State, and with the recent elevation, would play alongside other professional clubs in the Atlantic Conference during the premiership competitions