Mrs Ada Mark, one of the organisers of Mark d’Ball basketball competition, has said that Mark Mentor basketball club might begin to play from Otukpo Benue, when the proposed Otukpo Indoor Sports hall is completed.
Mark, a stakeholder in Mark Mentors, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the absence of an indoor hall in Otukpo necessitated the team playing from its present base in Abuja, instead of its original base.
“Mark Mentors don’t play from Otukpo because we don’t have an indoor sports hall here and that is one of the requirements of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) for a team to play in the league.
“So, that is why we are eager to have one (indoor sports hall) in Otukpo.
“Like the Mark d’Ball ambassador Igoche Mark said, there are plans to construct an indoor sports hall here; in fact, the space in our new arena can take both indoor and outdoor, just like we have at the National Stadium Abuja.
“But the truth is that the outdoor is easily more accessible and the cost of maintenance is less than that of indoor, and the idea is to make the game accessible to our people,” Mark said.
According to her, the Idoma people are known for playing basketball, as 80 per cent of `Idoma boys’ played for Benue Braves basketball club when the team was doing well.
Ada Mark also told NAN that they were giving priority to the development of basketball in Otukpo and Nigeria in general because of its popularity of the game.
“Basketball is a game Idoma people are talented in, so, it is an area we need to push knowing that it is the second sport that is nationally acclaimed in Nigeria next to football.
“So, with time Otukpo will be a place where people from all over the country can come and play any type of basketball they wish to play because we hope to have all the facility needed,” she said.
NAN reports that former Senate President David Mark through the Manager of Mark d’Ball Igoche Mark, promised to construct an indoor basketball hall in Otukpo for the development of the game in Nigeria.
Mark said when completed, the basketball complex would host national and international competitions.