Ibadan Excellers Win Little League Nigeria 2019 Baseball Tournament
Ibadan Excellers from Oyo State has won the United States Consulate-supported Little League Nigeria 2019 Baseball Tournament.
The Ibadan side defeated Akure Owena team from Ondo State by a score of twelve to five to emerge winners of the competition held at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Ibadan, Oyo State.
Meanwhile, Toluwani Hassan from Akure Owena team was the Most Valuable Player, MVP, of the tournament.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the tournament, U.S. Consulate Public Affairs Officer, Russell Brooks explained that the U.S. Consulate was pleased to share an aspect of American culture with Nigerians who share a similar passion for the game of baseball.
According to Brooks, baseball offers youths an opportunity to learn valuable life-lessons, including the importance of teamwork, cooperation, communication and leadership skills.
He enjoined young players of baseball to take their academic pursuits seriously and shun social vices.
“If you do well in the classroom as well as on the baseball field, I am confident that an incredible world of opportunity will open up to you: opportunities to travel, to study overseas, and to represent your country in international competitions.
“There will be opportunities to network with incredibly successful people and you may possibly find a place in one of the most lucrative industries worldwide –sports and entertainment,” Brooks said at the event attended by senior Oyo State government representatives, sports administrators and faculty from leading Nigerian universities.
Former U.S. Major League Baseball catcher, Raymond Thomas and DC Knights Youth Sports coach, Gerard Hall, came from the United States to assist both players and coaches at the tournament.
Radio Nigeria correspondent, Olaolu Fawole reports that twelve teams from Abuja, Lagos, Kwara, Ekiti, Ondo and Oyo states competed for trophies in this year’s tournament.
Little League Nigeria’s Baseball Tournament introduced baseball to underprivileged Nigerian youth under the age of nine to sixteen in 2013.