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Basketball: All Star Game Excites Hoopers’ Coach

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Rivers Hoopers Coach, Ogoh Odaudu, says he is excited with his leadership of the Atlantic Conference teams at the ongoing 2017 Kwese Premier Basketball League (KPBL) All Star Weekend game in Kano.
Odaudu made the assertion in a statement by Queen John, the club’s Media Officer  in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The statement said that though the Atlantic Conference selected side lost to Savannah Conference 106-115, he had fun with the game in Kano on June 17.
“It was great being at the All Star teams again. I’ve not been there for a couple of years so it was fun.
“We had fun out there even though we lost, it was still fun, and this is my fourth appearance at the All Star Weekend game as a coach,’’ it said.
It added that Odaudu believed that the disparity in the quality of players in the Savannah and the Atlantic Conference led to his team’s loss.
“The result showed that Savannah had better players than us in the Atlantic Conference and with home court advantage.
“The person who won the dunk, dunked better, the person who won the three points shot made more baskets than people from our side, so everything worked in their favour.
“Don’t forget they were playing in the core north; they are at home, headquarters of basketball so they didn’t want to give up anything for us, but all in all it was good.
“The Benue-born gaffer thinks his Hoopers players had an outstanding game and would have easily been crowned the Most Valuable Player of the game if they had won,’’ it added.
According to the statement, Hoopers’ Solomon Ajegbeyi took his impressive form into the All Star Weekend game with another double-double performance, scoring 28 points and 15 rebounds while Emmanuel Balogun contributed 17 points and 2 assists.
“Emmanuel Balogun and Solomon Ajegbeyi stood out, and if we had won the All Star game, one of the two would have won the Most Valuable Player (MVP).
“Even without a prize given, it was fun, the crowd had fun, it was interesting, it was intense, it was just a 9 points game you could see it was very close.
“And not a normal blow out where they blow 15, 20 points. It was just 9 points and it was fun for everybody,’’ the statement said.
It quoted Odaudu as saying: “The result of the All Star Weekend will not be a reflection of the 2017 KPBL final.
“I don’t think it will be like that, it won’t be dominated by the north, and there are a couple of teams that will give Savannah a lot of fight’’.

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RSG Restates Commitment To Youth Dev Via Sports

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The Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor on School Sports, Chief Aribitonye Okiri, has said that the state government-led by Chief Nyesom Wike, is committed to develop youths in the State through sports. 
 He stated that it is not in doubt that the State has hidden talents at the grassroots that are yet to be discovered. 
Chief Okiri, said this at the finals of the National School Sports Competition held at Adokiye Amiesimaka Sports Complex in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday.
According to him, Governor Wike is poised to reach out to young ones in all the local government areas, in the state and engage them with sporting activities in a bid to discover hidden talents. 
“As I speak, the governor has reiterated his desire to reach out to the children in all parts of the state and unearth their talents through engagement in sports, believing that all Rivers children are talented” Chief Okiri said. 
Also speaking, the second Vice President of Nigeria School Sports Federation (NSSF), Pastor Emmanuel Ebong, thanked Governor Wike, for proving a worthy partner of NSSF and appeal to other corporate organisations to emulate Nigeria Breweries Ltd in partnering NSSF in sports development. 
At the end of the final competition, Community Secondary School, Okochiri in Okrika Local Government Area, dominated the medal table.

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24 States Set For Lagos Athletics Championship

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The Lagos State Athletics Association has confirmed the entry of 24 states and some clubs for its lucrative Athletics Meet fixed for Thursday, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium.
Yussuf Alli who is the Meet Director for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship made the disclosure at the weekend even as he hinted a few other states may still join the already confirmed 24 states and clubs.
He said: “Yes, we are very much on track for the Lagos Open Athletics Championship which will be coming up this Thursday.
“Right now, we already have 24 states and some top racing clubs that have confirmed their participation, a few more may join before we close the window.”
The Lagos Open Athletics Championship is a one-day meet simultaneously serving as another qualifying window for the Tokyo Olympics as well as a preparatory event for athletes that have already qualified for the sporting showpiece.
In the past days, Lagos has been a beehive of activities with the National trials at the Yaba College of Technology Sporting complex and now the train is moving to the heart of the city in Surulere as the build-up to the Tokyo Olympics continues to gather momentum.
 The list of events to be competed for at the Lagos Open Athletics Championship includes the 5,000 meters, 400 meters hurdles, 100 meters, 800 meters, 400 meters, and 100 meters.
There would also be top-quality action across the relay events including;  the 4×100 meters open, 4×100 meters open and 4×400 meters mixed relay.
Long jump, High jump, Triple jump, Shot put as well as 4×100 secondary schools relay and 4×100 secondary schools relay have all been penciled down for the maiden Lagos Open Athletics Championship.
Already, the top three finishers across all the events have been assured mouthwatering prizes by the organisers.

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Okagbare Sets New Record At Olympic Trials

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Blessing Okagbare will be heading to Tokyo Olympics in the best form of her life after running the second fastest time in the world this season.
The 32-year-old ran  10.63 seconds to win the Athletics Federation of Nigeria Olympic Trials at the Sports Complex of Yaba College of Technology in Lagos on Thursday. 
The 10.63 seconds time saw her tie with Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’ best time in 2021 ahead of the delayed 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Okagbare ran 10.99 seconds in the semifinal of the event to set a new championship record , and before clocking 10.63 seconds in the final to set a new record.   The scorching 10.63 time is also a new African record. Only Florence Griffith Joyner who holds the world record at 10.49 seconds has run faster.        The Nigerian has now emerged one of the favourites for the 100m gold at the Tokyo Olympics alongside Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce who first ran 10.63 seconds this season.

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