Robert Kerr, Cultural Affairs Officer of the U.S Embassy in Nigeria has said that the embassy will support sports and leadership development in the country.
Kerr made this known on the sideline of the ongoing 50-50 Basketball camp in Abuja on Friday.
He told Reporters  that the embassy was anxious to support basketball which combines sports and leadership, noting that sports was a way to engage kids in a positive way.
“Hopefully, it will sustain their interest in basketball not as a profession but as a way of staying in shape and as a way of interacting with each other in a positive way.
“It is a good team sport; it has also the leadership skills training side as well.
“Some of the people that have done well in life are also doing well in basketball,’’ he said.
The cultural affairs officer said that Nigeria was a big country, so the embassy was not bound to Abuja alone.
“We are also sponsoring programmes with coach Oliver Ben Johnson (OBJ), he is doing a programme for peace in Zamfara, Kebbi and Kastina.
“Last year, he did in Jos and in Kano, so OBJ is sponsored by the U.S Embassy.
“National Basketball Association (NBA) has also been coming around to host similar programmes to scout for boys that are talented at the clinic to play in the U.S,’’ he said.
The camp, which started on December 17, is expected to end on December 20.
Ndiala James, one of the participants in the mini-group, told newsmen that he had learnt many new things in basketball and also new skills.
“The clinic made me to learn new things in basketball that I did not know while training in my school.
“I just want to say thank you to the U.S Embassy, they have tried and they have done a very good job,’’ James said.
Orelu Alexie, of the cadet group, told newsmen that her expectation was to be skilful and to be focused in life.
“My experience is to be skilful and to stay committed in what I want to do; l love basketball and am committed in playing the game.
“I have fun playing basketball and I want to say thank you to the organisers of this programme,’’ Alexie said.
Moses Ijabula, of the junior group, told newsmen that his experience at the camp had built his character.
“The programme has really build my basketball skills, it has improved my attitude and my character, when I came here I did not know what to expect.
“The training we received in the camp was not just about being skillful in basketball, but also training in leadership qualities and good character.
“We are grateful to the U.S Embassy because I was playing at home with no skills, but now I know better,’’ Ijabula said.
Also reports that the aim of the camp is to engage children from all schools in the FCT of 10 to 18 years on how to combine both sports and academic studies in pursuing their career.
Further reports state that the groupings are: Mini, 10- 12 years; Cadet, 13- 15; Junior, 16 – 18 years.