The Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, recently lauded Rivers Hoopers, a Port Harcourt-based basketball club—for their remarkable achievement in the fourth edition of the Basketball Africa League (BAL) held in Kigali, Rwanda. Their historic bronze medal win not only marks a significant milestone for the team but also inspires hope for the future of Nigerian basketball.

Sports minister Nigeria

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Rivers Hoopers secured Nigeria’s first-ever podium finish at the continental basketball event by clinching third place. In a thrilling match, they defeated South Africa’s Cape Town Tigers with a commanding score of 80-57. This achievement places Rivers Hoopers in the top three ranking in Africa, a feat previously unattained by any Nigerian team.

The team’s success was further magnified by Coach Ogoh Odaudu, who received the prestigious 2024 BAL Coach of the Year award. His strategic leadership and unwavering commitment played a pivotal role in Rivers Hoopers’ historic run. Odaudu’s recognition adds to the pride and excitement surrounding Nigerian basketball.

Minister John Enoh emphasized that sports development extends beyond federal initiatives. Rivers State, he asserted, exemplifies the immense potential within each state to elevate the nation through sports. The bronze medal signifies progress—a testament to the collective efforts of players, coaches, and administrators.

Enoh expressed sincere gratitude to Rivers Hoopers for raising the national flag high. He assured the team of continued support from the Federal Ministry of Sports Development. As the basketball community celebrates this milestone, Enoh’s words echo the sentiment that the best days for Nigerian basketball lie ahead.

The historic achievement by Rivers Hoopers resonates beyond the court. It symbolizes resilience, determination, and the power of teamwork. The bronze medal is more than an accolade; it represents hope for aspiring young basketball players across Nigeria. Rivers State’s commitment to sports development has brought immense pride to the nation.

As the team returned to Lagos, they carried with them not only a medal but also the dreams of a basketball-loving nation. The flag of Nigeria was raised, and Rivers Hoopers etched their names in the annals of African basketball history. Rivers Hoopers’ remarkable journey, from the hard-fought matches to the podium finish, inspires us all. Let us celebrate our players, our heroes, and our champions. God bless Rivers Hoopers, and may their success continue to fuel the growth of basketball in our great nation.