The Nigerian basketball world was thrown into mourning on Thursday, July 23, 2020, after news of the death of fast-rising referee, Razak Okedeyi, was made public through a statement issued and signed by Oni Afolabi, a board member of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF). Commenting on the death of the chap, Mr Afolabi noted that the NBBF were briefed by Kingsley Ojeaburu (FIBA-certified referee and coordinator of the Nigerian Basketball Referees Council) on the cause of Razak’s death, a severe headache he complained of.
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Reacting to the death of the referee, president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida, described it as a shock which he found difficult to comprehend.
I am just speechless. Imagine a young chap who was about to start his journey in life as a man just suddenly dying. Who are we to question in this situation or how are we going to describe this? This year has been tough on us all. From the death of loved ones, some stakeholders and the lockdown and suspension of all sporting activities occasioned by COVID-19, the year 2020 has been a very difficult year.”
A representative of the South-West geopolitical zone on the NBBF board, Babs Ogunade, who also doubles as the Vice President of the ruling basketball body in Nigeria, noted that Razak’s death is a big blow to the basketball fraternity, especially in Nigeria.
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“Dear Lord, he just anchored the recent online South-West Zonal Referees training Programme that took place last week and was preparing the Coaches’ training module billed for Monday. This is unbelievable. May his soul find profound peace.”
Until his death, Razak Okedeyi was a member of the Nigerian Basketball Referees Council and was last seen in action during the 2019/2020 Total Division One League. He also served as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Lagos State Referees Council and founded the Flygerian Basketball Academy which he coached.
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