Kano Pillars Basketball Club of Kano has emerged Nigeria’s best basketball team in the year 2016 at the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s 2016 Award night in Abuja on Tuesday.
The team who played in the Savannah Conference of the DStv league last year, beat Nigeria Customs Basketball Club, Hoops & Reads Basketball Academy and Gombe Jewel Basketball Club to the award in the males category.
On the other hand, First Bank Basketball Club beat IGP Queens Basketball Club, Nigeria Customs Basketball Club and Dolphins Basketball Club to win the Female Team of the Year award.
Both teams emerged victorious in the DStv and Zenith leagues respectively last year and went ahead to shine in the African Champions Cup with Pillars coming fourth in the males category and First Bank emerging third in the females category.
Also, the two clubs scooped the best players award as Dele Ademola of Kano Pillars won the Male Player of the Year award while First Bank’s Upe Atosu won the Female Player of the Year award.
Ifunaya Okoye of First Deepwater of Lagos won the Female Young Player of the Year award, while Oriakhi Owen of Hoops and Read Basketball Academy won the award’s male version.
Special awards were given to coaches, players and administrators, both living and dead, who had distinguished themselves in the sport over the years.
The late coaches, players and administrators included Chris Obojememe, Danjuma Danazumi, Lemmy Harry, Roland Swade, Mohammed Acha and Segun Erinle.
Administrators such as Ibrahim Galadima, C.O. Williams, Sen. U.K. Umar, Buba Gyang and Francis Gbiri were also given special awards.
Justice Nasiru Ajanah, Farid Abou Hassan, Sen. David Mark and Zenith Bank Plc were also honoured for their outstanding moral and financial support to the sport in Nigeria.
Speaking earlier at the awards, NBBF President Tijani Umar said the event was designed to help elevate the basketball sport in Nigeria for better results.
“We have really come a long way, and the results of recent years show this. But we still have another long way to go, in order to achieve more as we go on.
“Now, we need to raise the level of our inputs in order to get better results, and there is no better way than to honour those who have done well in the area of making sacrifices and other contributions to the growth of the game.
“That way, we can be assured of more positive contributions as we go along," he said.