Daily Trust (Abuja)

21 January 2013

Nigeria: Mark Mentors Draft Players for the New Season

The management of Mark Mentors Basketball team on Sunday night, signed on 15 drafted players for the oncoming DSTV Premier League season.

The newly established basketball club was the first to host such an event in the history of basketball in Nigeria.

The players drafted at the occasion are top stars snapped up from various top clubs within the country.

The Abuja-based team will play its matches at the Indoor Hall of the Abuja National Stadium and will be coached by an American -Cameroonian, Jotumo Abdulrahaman and Dave Black.

The General Manager of the team, Skambo Morrison expressed optimism that Mark Mentors would surprisingly, make impact in the league.

"It's a season. We are also going out to play like the other teams. We will give in our best, play by the rules, we are determined, we want to win and we want to fight and ensure that we get something out of the season."

Coach Skambo revealed that it was easy to entice players to join the team as the deals tabled could not be ignored by the players.

Nigeria's hope

Speaking with Trustsports, the proprietor of the team, Igoche Mark said the club will go on to set a standard for others to emulate in the country, stressing that Nigeria will gain from such competition.

"We have a lot of talented players in the country that can represent the national team. It's just that the avenue to show their potentials is not there and we are trying to change that."

The proprietor who was represented by his younger brother at the occasion, Audu Mark said most of the players from Benue State who made the team were product sof 'Mark D Ball' championships, stressing that when the championship is extended to other parts of the country, Nigeria will have more talents to pick from for the national teams.

While allaying fears about sponsorship challenges, he said sponsors will come when the club produces results. "There are sponsors that will come into the picture but we want to show them that we mean business."

Speaking also with TrustSports, former Nigeria Customs star man, Stanley Gumut expressed excitement for being part of the revolution in the game of basketball in the country.

"I will say I feel tensed-up right now. The challenge has been thrown at us and there is a lot of work on ground and it is not as easy as it looks. It is not all about carrying big names, big players. We all know what it takes.

Speaking about the chances of his new team in the Savanna Conference that also has Kano Pillars and Niger Potters, Gumut said: "They are big names, big clubs, they are established, they have everything that it takes and they are still a team to beat. We don't know how we look like until we get on the court. That's all I can say right now."

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