ExxonMobil, NBA Africa and PanAfricare tipped off the 10th season of the Power Forward youth development program, which uses basketball to teach health literacy and life skills to secondary school students in Abuja, Nigeria.
The season tipped off with a basketball clinic for 200 youth ages 13-16 at the Africa International College Kaura, which was attended by sports manager, Media and Communications for ExxonMobil affiliate companies in Nigeria Oge Udeagha, NBA Africa Vice President and Country Head for Nigeria Gbemisola Abudu, PanAfricare Nigeria Country Director Dr Patrick Adah, and Nigerian former NBA player and 2015 FIBA AfroBasket champion Olumide Oyedeji.
In advance of the season tip-off, earlier this week NBA Academy Africa Associate Technical Director Joe Touomou led a Jr. NBA coaching clinic for 45 coaches in the Power Forward program. Since Power Forward launched in 2013, the program has reached more than 200,000 youth and their communities in Abuja through life skills and public health awareness seminars, malaria prevention workshops, and basketball programming.
The Chairman and Managing Director of ExxonMobil affiliate companies in Nigeria, Richard Laing. said: “ExxonMobil’s Malaria Initiative works with non-profit partners and leading global health organizations to advance progress against the disease in malaria-endemic countries by supporting malaria education and awareness, improving access to tools for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, strengthening health infrastructure, and advancing research and innovation.
“The initiative continues to support malaria prevention and control programs in Nigeria, which currently account for more than one-quarter of the global burden of the disease. We are excited to launch the 10th edition of the Power Forward program in collaboration with ExxonMobil and PanAfricare.”
NBA Africa Vice President and Country Head for Nigeria, Gbemisola Abudu, said: “With a focus on youth empowerment and development, we continue to use the transformative power of the game to equip our youth with the skills necessary to succeed on the court and in life. The Power Forward program is a core component of our broader efforts to make basketball more accessible in Nigeria, and we look forward to continuing to work with our partners to expand our impact in communities across the country.
“For the past 20 years, ExxonMobil’s Malaria Initiative has provided more than $37.4 million (over N15 billion) in cash grants to partners working to develop community-based solutions in Nigeria. ”
Patrick Adah, PanAfricare Nigeria’s country director said, “The youth in the project have continued to sensitize their peers and community members on the prevention of diseases of public health importance.”