GSS APO, G.S.S Zone 3 emerge winners of 2023 Power Forward championship




The 10th edition of the Power Forward Finals concluded on Thursday, Sept. 21, with G.S.S. Apo (“Apo Raptors”) winning the boys’ championship game and G.S.S. Zone 3 (“Wuse Fever”) being crowned this year’s girls’ champions at the M.K.O. Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

On the final day of the basketball tournament, which ran from June through September, G.S.S. Apo defeated G.S.S. Zone 3 in the boys’ division. G.S.S. Zone 3 beat Total Child Model School in the girls’ division to win championships.

This season featured 30 boys’ and 12 girls’ teams, with the top eight girls’ teams and top 10 boys’ teams advancing to the playoffs and the top two girls’ and boys’ playoff teams advancing to the Power Forward Finals.

As part of the Finals, the participants took part in a malaria jeopardy game and had the opportunity to utilize malaria testing stations set up outside the stadium.

The three-day 10th-anniversary celebrations of the Power Forward program – a youth development program established in 2013 to provide life skills and public health awareness, malaria prevention workshops and basketball development programming to more than 250,000 boys and girls across 40 schools in Abuja – also featured a Jr. N.B.A. clinic for 1,200 children ages 16 and under and an alumni summit in the presence of 2015 N.B.A. champion Festus Ezeli and 2015 AfroBasket champion Olumide Oyedeji.

“Over the past decade, our partnership with N.B.A. Africa and PanAfricare on the Power Forward initiative has promoted youth development through sports, life skills, and public health education,” said ExxonMobil Foundation President Alvin Abraham.

“This impactful program has benefitted more than 250,000 young Nigerians and empowered them to use the leadership skills they learned to work towards a brighter future for Nigeria.”

“We are excited to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Power Forward program as we build on our long-standing commitment to positively impacting the Abuja community,” said N.B.A. Africa Vice President and Country Head of Nigeria Gbemisola Abudu. “The initiative utilizes the transformative power of basketball to educate young people about public health awareness while instilling critical life skills such as teamwork and leadership, and we’re encouraged about the program’s influence to date.”

“Power Forward, in its 10th year, has contributed to raising over 8,000 malaria champions and public health advocates,” said PanAfricare Nigeria Country Director Dr. Patrick Adah.

“The project’s positive impact has transformed youths’ lives in 40 schools in the Federal Capital Territory. Through an effective and collaborative partnership, the project has metamorphosed into a model program, which we look to continue to expand.”