By Albert Akota
The Nigeria Basketball Federation under the leadership of Engr. Musa Kida has condoled with the family of Kunle Delano and Saratu Luga over the death of two of its key stakeholders in Nigeria basketball.
Delano died last month (April) at the age of 93 while Saratu Luga died in a tragic auto accident which left many sad and speechless.
In a personal message to the family of one of the pioneers of Nigeria basketball, Kida described the death of Delano as “plucking a distinctively bright star out of the sky at night leaving a feeling of lights out and a void that can never be filled”.
Delano was a star of the then Lagos Territory Team that won the first National Championship in 1964 before playing for Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Amateur Basketball Club under Christopher Kolade who was then Director of the corporation, where he mentored the likes of Alabi Adelanwa, Ganiyu Otenigbagbe and others who later rose to stardom.
In his condolence message on behalf of the board Kida said, “We wish to express our deepest sympathy on the demise of an ICON in Nigeria Basketball and the entire family on the enormity of the loss and the resultant effect on the entire household at this time.”
Still unable to come to terms with the tragic loss, the NBBF President described the death of Saratu, a former player of AHIP of Kano and GT 2000 of Kaduna as one death too many.
“This particular death is really sad and difficult to comprehend. Losing a beloved personality in her prime has left many shattered. We are only being comforted by the good testimonies by all and sundry about her personality while on this side of existence.”
The late Delano was a member of the Nigeria Team to the African Championship in Fernando Po (now Equatorial Guinea) in 1960 as well as supporting the then Oba of Lagos, HRH, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan in establishing the Oba Oyekan Cup in 1966 before instituting his own Cup the same year.
Kida prayed the Lord to grant the souls of the former Vice Chairman of the then Nigeria Amateur Basketball Association (NABBA) and Saratu a peaceful rest.