President of the Federation, Mallam Tijani Umar revealed this at a media briefing at the end of a two-day Basketball Without Boarders (BWB) camp at the Abuja National Stadium on Sunday evening.
He said the eight kids will join other top talents within Africa to attend the continent’s BWB camp, being run by the NBA.
The eight kids with ages ranging from 14 and 18 were selected after the two-day BWB camp staged by the Federation in Abuja.
The kids that participated in the Abuja BWB camp were picked from the Ejike Ugboaja camp in Uyo, Otukpo and Abuja, the Milo Secondary School Championship and the Giant of Africa competition.
Umar charged those that did not make the cut to continue training hard in their respective clubs and schools, promising that they will be considered for the Federation’s subsequent age grade teams.
The N BBF President, who warned all the kids against age-cheat, noted that the Federation will send packing any player found wanting.
Speaking with Daily Trust at the end of the programme, the Head Coach of the camp, Emmanuel Odah expressed satisfaction with the performances of the kids during the clinic.
“The programme has been an impressive one. It’s first of its kind. We have never had a prospect camp organised ever in Nigeria where you gather kids to fish them out for national programmes and to represent Nigeria.”
He said it was hard to pick eight out of the 30 kids in camp, saying all of them were top talents that will help improve the game of basketball in Nigeria.
However, the Federation refused to disclose the names of the kids that will be going for the South Africa camp, saying it was a precautionary strategy not to discourage others who didn’t make the cut.
“We have not disclosed the list yet. The list will get to you later. In a youth programme, you don’t make the kids feel bad. Every kid that comes to a youth programme is a winner. If we announce their names now, others that didn’t make it will feel bad and it might go on to discourage them in their development.
“Now, even those that are not picked have a better future than the ones that made the list because now, they can be picked for the national U-16 and the U-18”, Odah explained.
Coach Odah said the BWB camp being organised by the NBA will provide unlimited opportunities for the kids to develop,” Odah said.