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Sunday Dada: My ultimate dream is to play in NBA

Kwara Falcons player, Sunday Dada, has said when he started playing basketball, his parents were not in support of his choice of career because it…

Kwara Falcons player, Sunday Dada, has said when he started playing basketball, his parents were not in support of his choice of career because it was not bringing in money. However, in this exclusive interview with Trust Sports, the immensely talented basketball player has said his parents who wanted him to concentrate on academics have since ‘repented’ and are giving him their unflinching support. The Most Valuable Player at the 2022 Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Super 8 also said his favourite player in the NBA is Brooklyn Nets forward, Kevin Durant, and his ultimate ambition is to play in the NBA in the future. 

At 17 years old, you won the MVP at the NBBF Super 8 last year, how happy are you with your achievement? 

I am very happy because this is my first year of playing in Nigeria Basketball Professional League. This is like a dream come true for me in my basketball career. I was not expecting to win the award. I was just doing my own thing and I am grateful to God I was noticed.

When exactly did you start playing basketball?

I started playing basketball in 2017. I started playing for my academy before I was called to play for Kwara Falcons.

Could you share with us your academic and family background?

I am from Kwara State but was born in Ogun state and all my life, I lived in Sango. I am so happy that I represented my state by playing for Kwara Falcons. I attended De-Gift school in Ogun state. I want to go further but not in Nigeria. I am working on travelling abroad to continue with my studies.

What were the initial challenges you faced when you started playing basketball?

The major challenge I faced was from my immediate family because my parents didn’t want me to play the game of basketball. Most of us do have that challenge, of course because it is not bringing money yet so they feel like you are wasting your time. My parents wanted me to pay more attention to education. I am supposed to be in the university right now but I am yet to process it. However, I am looking forward to leaving this country to further my education outside Nigeria. 

Are your parents still opposed to your choice of career? 

Not at all. They are my number one supporters. They are so proud of what I have achieved so far. I will work harder to achieve more in basketball. I want to give them every reason to be proud of me. 

Apart from your parents, who else has been very supportive? 

I appreciate my current coach Olumide and my grassroot coach, Peter Akindele. They have been very supportive in my basketball career. Both men have done a lot for me in different ways and I am very grateful to them.

So, tell us, how did you join Kwara Falcons?

I was supposed to play for African Giants but since they are not in the league, my coach, Peter Akindele, from Warlord Academy Giant and kwara State coach met and discussed my future. So, that was how I was told to come over and play for Kwara Falcons. 

Can you share with us some of your career plans?

I am a young guy, still learning the ropes in basketball. I know I still have a long way to go in my career. I want to be named among the best, play for Nigeria at the highest level and I am looking forward to playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Talking about the NBA, is there any player in there who inspires you?

I love to watch NBA games no matter the timing here. And one player I enjoy watching is Kevin Durant. He is one player that can basically do everything in basketball.  I idolize him and my dream is to play in the NBA and play like him.

You are under-aged and won’t be participating in the Basketball Africa League (BAL), how disappointed are you?

It is true I won’t make the team that will represent the country in BAL because of my age. I am 17-year old. I am not eligible to play until I am 18 years. So, I am not preparing for the challenge because I will not play. I will turn 18-years old on April 2. So, I am looking forward to it in the future because that is like playing in the National Basketball Association (NBA). If you can play Basketball Africa League, that means you are playing in Africa’s NBA.

You were also in the team that won silver for Team Lagos at the 2022 National Sports Festival in Asaba. How memorable was the moment?

It was okay but playing with new teammates in a new team was very difficult. But I was able to adapt quickly and add my value to the team. I enjoyed every bit and I am glad I played a role in clinching a silver medal for Lagos State.