It’s been over a year since the Premier Basketball League was halted by a court injunction against the NBBF.
A law suit filed by a League Management Committee is arguing that the Musa Kida-board cannot legally host a new PBL season.
Whilst the legal tussle is expected to reach a conclusion on October 13, when the Court gives its judgement, the lacuna has been disruptive of Basketball activities in the country and particularly for Players in the division, a situation Kida says he sympathizes with.
“My heart really goes out to the Players, but I’m sure they won’t forget that we’ve had some programs where I personally ring-fenced participation; I cordoned it off so that they have a chance to compete,
“We were stopped from the league, legally. NBBF is a good “corporate citizen” of the country, so we respect the law and that’s why we are not holding the Kwese Premier League,” he told brila.net.
However, for the NBBF its had to dig in and unearth what was a moribund “D-League” to bring any type of normalcy to what was quickly becoming basketball’s worst era.
The Federation swung into action and commissioned the D-Leagues, opening up the game to an excess of 200 teams with prospective pro players in their ranks.
After an initial two-year contract was signed in 2018, the NBBF struck a 5-year extension with the title sponsor for a ₦150million deal.
A paltry sum considering it’s a spread of ₦30million across the five years but it represents a meaningful contribution to keep the ball bouncing and the sport alive.
Yet, there are deeper questions about the structure of teams coming through and transparency in a league where the first season was wrought with irregularities.
With the much talked about Recategorization of Sports as a Business in the country, what plans are in the works to trial the process with D1 and D2 Leagues when the Government lifts all restrictions on contact sports – the suspension was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NBBF isn’t clear on these crucial areas and there’s a feeling that it isn’t getting the best value for one of Nigeria’s biggest sport.
Nonetheless, it is a project that excites Kida:
“Nobody makes too much noise of our divisions 2 and 1, but they are really all year long, they’re being played at the lowest levels, at state level so maybe that’s why they don’t make too much noise until the conference or national finals.”