UNIJOS

A former Nigerian international basketball player, Chief Felix Akiga, says he plans to sponsor different sports competitions at the University of Jos, for the next 10 years.

Akiga stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Jos.

The founder of the Gboko Heats and Gboko Giants basketball clubs said that the tournaments would include basketball and other sports.

He pointed out that the initiative which begins in 2019 at the university is aimed at discovering budding talents who could ply their trade at the highest level within and outside the country.

He said that trophies and other rewards would be given to winners.

Akiga urged students of tertiary institutions in Nigeria to participate in sporting activities, while studying.

According to him, sports will boost their mental alertness; and enable them perform better in academics.

The retired basket player who also featured for United Kingdom during his playing days revealed that he had sponsored basketball clinics in some universities in the country.

They include University of Benin, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.

Akiga added that foreign coaches do attend the clinics to train young Nigerians players with the intention of securing foreign clubs for outstanding ones.

He, however, advised the students to strike a balance between sports and academics.

“Please read your books, sport has a way of recovery and mental alertness.

“Gone are days when our parents stopped us from sports because athletes were believed to be poor people and not educationally sound.

“Today it has been proven wrong, some of us are here to testify,’’ he said.