.NCSF, Ujiri, Others Congratulate Him –
The basketball ruling body in Africa, FIBA Africa penultimate week honoured Nigeria’s Col Samuel Ahmedu, Retd, with the conferment of ‘The Vermeil Star’ Award.
Ahmedu, a member of the FIBA Africa Central Board since 1997 and currently President of the FIBA Africa Marketing Council, along with eight other recipients across Africa, that included Mukthar Khaleh, was conferred with the award in recognition of his contribution to basketball both at the local and international levels spanning close to 47 years.
The award which was presented to Ahmedu at the FIBA Africa central board meeting held in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire has received several congratulatory messages from basketball stakeholders within Nigeria and abroad this past week.
Leading the train of well wishers are the National Collegiate Sports Foundation, NCSF, Ahmadu Bello University Basketball Foundation, ABUBF, Friends of Basketball,FOB, and other basketball stakeholders.
In a letter signed by the Ag Executive Secretary of the NCSF, Lanre Balogun, on behalf of its Chairman, Remi Olowude and other members of the Foundation, extolled Ahmedu’s enormous contributions to the development of the game, especially in nurturing and sustaining the Nestle Milo Secondary School’s Basketball Championship, which he midwifed in 1999 under the auspices of the NCSF.
The ABU Foundation, which also conferred an award on the retired Army officer a few months ago are proud to have Ahmedu as one of its marquee basketball alumni and restates that FIBA Africa has indeed confirmed that its earlier award to him was indeed well deserved.
Ivo Owan, the Secretary, Friends of basketball, under the patronage of Maj Gen Shehu Yusuf, GOC 82 Div, NA, organizers of one of Africa’s FIBA endorsed 3×3 tournaments, felicitates with Ahmedu in appreciation of his leadership role in instituting the annual Calabar Carnival 3×3 tournament.
Other basketball stakeholders who have sent in their congratulatory messages include, Masai Ujiri, GM of the Denver Nuggets and facilitator Giants of Africa.
Kudos have also come from Ugo Udezue of BDA, one of Africa’s top agents in the USA, Rich Shuebrooks of Nike and the Memphis Grizzlies of the NBA, where Ahmedu served as scout between 2006 and 2009.
Ahmedu, a retired Army lawyer, who is the proprietor of the Dodan Warriors Basketball Programme, has continued to blaze the trail in the game where he has dedicated his life as a player and administrator since coming in contact with the sport at Dodan Baracks in Obalende since 1967.
About COL SAM AHMEDU (RTD)
Sam Ahmedu heads the Management of the Dodan Warriors Basketball Programme, which encompasses; The Warriors Basketball Club (male team), The Amazons (female team) and the Warriors Academy. In this regard he is at the centre of the programmes policy formulation, setting forth and guiding its direction thereof.
Ahmedu, a retired Colonel disengaged from the Nigerian Army in 2005 after 32 years of meritorious service in the Corps of Military Police and Army Legal Services.
Ahmedu holds LLB (Hons) Degree obtained from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1982 and was called to Bar at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos, as a Solicitor & Advocate of the Supreme Court in 1983.
He obtained a Diploma in Military Judge Advocacy from the United States Army Judge Advocate School, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, where he was also invested as an Honorary Member of the United States Army Court of Military Review in 1988.
This sports icon, who speaks English, French, Hausa, Yoruba and Idoma languages, was an all rounder in his formative years, excelling in Volleyball, Football and Athletics were he emerged Kaduna State Triple Jump Champion in 1979.
However, he has brought more honours to his country and self through basketball, a game he embraced as a young kid in Dodan Barracks in 1967, leading to his entrenchment as one of the most exciting players and administrators of the game at both local and international levels. He was a member of the NBBF from 1989-2009 and an International Scout with the NBA’s Memphis, Grizzlies and African Consultant to Nike Director of Global Basketball Marketing between 2005-2010.
He is presently a member of many local and international sporting organisations which include; FIBA Africa Central Board, FIBA International Certified Match Commissioner and National Collegiate Sports Foundation.
As President of the NBBF Technical Committee from 1992-1997, he spearheaded the establishment of the Premier Basketball League in 1995 and was first to bring DSTV into Basketball sponsorship in Nigeria when he gave the TV rights of the 2006 African Champions Cup Finals to the company when Dodan Warriors hosted the event in Lagos.
Ahmedu has also been a regular member of the African coaching staff at the annual FIBA/NBA organized Basketball Without Borders Africa Camp and is the Coordinator of the Top 50 and Big Man Camps in Lagos under the auspice of the Giants of Africa in collaboration with Nestle Nigeria Plc.
Under Ahmedu, the Dodan Warriors have produced over 120 youths who have gone on to play in the NCAA and the NBA, as well as other top European leagues. These include; Charles Okwandu, Olumide Oyedeji, Chukwudi Maduabum, Abdullahi Kuso, Msoo Ikyator, Jeff Varem, Benson Egenmonye, Dinma Odiakosa and Uchennna Nsonwu.
Presently, another D Warriors alumni, Ewaoche Christopher Obekpa is the leading shot blocker in the Atlantic 10 Conference of the NCAA and is touted as a sure first round pick in the next NBA draft.
Due to his penchant for basketball as a veritable tool for the development of the youths, he has won other accolades award which include chiefly: FIBA Africa Award in Recognition of Service to the Development of the Basketball on the African Continent (1994), and received Honourable Mention in “100 Nigerian Sports Personality of the Century”, a Publication by Lagos State Chapter of the Sports Writers association of Nigeria (SWAN) in 2000.
He has also received the Chief of Army Staff Post Service Award in recognition of his contributions in developing children of service personnel even after his retirement from service.
He has also authored 3 books namely; “Basketball in Nigeria–Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow”, “The Art of Basketball–Reporting the Sport” and “Marching On-The Nigerian Military School” (all published by Integrated Media Ltd, Lagos, Nigeria in 1992 and 1995 respectively).
Col Sam A. Ahmedu (Retd) is married with three children.