Gidi Giants Wins Maiden Edition as Olumide Oyedeji Eyes Expansion for West African Basketball Classics

Olumide Oyedeji, the initiator of the West African Basketball Classics (WABC), has promised that the upcoming edition of the regional championship will be larger and more impressive.

The former captain of Nigeria’s national basketball team, D’Tigers, revealed that preparations for the next tournament are already well underway.

“The inaugural edition, which concluded over the weekend in Lagos, relied heavily on individual sponsorship and support. To elevate the championship to greater heights, we now need the financial backing of corporate entities,” Oyedeji told media.

Plans are reportedly in place to expand the number of participating clubs from 6 to 12 teams in the next WABC edition. The recent tournament featured teams such as ASPAC and ASPAL from Benin Republic, Swallows from Togo, Ghana’s GRA Braves, Kwara Falcons, and Nigeria’s Gidi Giants.

The competition unfolded in phases, culminating in a Final Four format where Gidi Giants emerged victorious over Association Sportive du Port Autonome de Cotonou with a scoreline of 75-66. Kwara Falcons secured the third spot by defeating ASPAL 73-68.

Endorsed by FIBA Africa Zone 3, NSIA Banque, and FIBA itself, the West African Basketball Classics has garnered praise from regional basketball stakeholders. Joe Apu, FIBA Africa Zone 3’s Scribe, commended the organizers for their efforts, emphasizing the importance of such initiatives in enhancing the sport’s visibility and appeal across West Africa.

The inaugural tournament featured a round-robin format spread across multiple phases and venues, showcasing a total of five games per team in the initial rounds. The championship, proudly supported by sportswear manufacturer PEAK, has set a precedent for future editions in the region.