Let’s look at Nigerians in sports who did well enough in their fields in the month of April.
Anthony Joshua is a an amazing boxer who went from being just another guy on the block to being the boxer every other wants to get in the ring with.
Over the years, we have seen the Heavyweight champion grow in skill and maturity, and though he has had his off days (who doesn’t have those moments?), he kept his head high and focused on his goals, one of which received an icing on the cake in the month of April.
Anthony Joshua became one of only four men so far (Lennox Lewis who was the very first to hold three heavy weight titles (IBF, WBA, WBC) at a time after defeating Evander Holyfield on Nov 13, 1999, Tyson Fury, Wladimir Klitschko and himself) to hold three world titles at a time, when he defeated Joseph Parker to claim the WBO strap.
Joshua now hols the WBA (Super), WBO and IBF world titles. Deontay Wilder who we’ll probably see in a ring with Joshua in the coming days, currently holds the WBC crown.
In the month of April, AJ also made boxing history when he organized a boxercise in partnership with Lucozade Sport. The exercise reached Guinness World Record status for being the ‘Biggest Boxercise Class Ever’.
Right on top of our football players of the month list is Onyinye Wilfred Ndidi. The player is one of the top performing Nigerians in any football league. Ndidi who signed for Leicester City from Belgium outfit KRC Genk in January 2017 has been at his best so far growing from just another player on the block to being a very crucial part of the foxes’s everyday play. He currently tops both the club’s and Premier League overall tackling charts with 138 successful tackles so far.
For his dedication and very admirable performance for the foxes this season, Ndidi was honored with the Leicester City Young Player of the Year award.
The player was also an award recipient at the 2018 Best of Africa Awards event held in London on Monday evening. Ndidi was named in the Best of Africa Premier League XI Team of the Year award category alongside other prominent footballers of African descent.
Nigeria’s track queen, Blessing Okagbare, deserves to be on this list despite her under-performance at the just concluded 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast Australia.
Okagbare is the definition of perseverance. Despite being hit down more times than one, the athlete never let her self stay down. Each time we saw her spring back up like she was never down, and that alone is well deserving of a spot on our list.
At the end of March, Blessing Okagbare raced 200m in 22.04s to break a 22-year old African record in at the Wes Kittley Invitational Track and Field Meet at the Abilene Christian University. The previous record was 22.07s, set by Nigerian legend, Mary Onyali in Switzerland, 1996.
Few days after the sprinter broke the 22-year long record, she was awarded the rare honor of being named the University of Texas El Paso’s (UTEP) best ever female athlete. She was given the honor by The Prospector; the student voice of UTEP since 1915.
First of all; Happy Birthday, Alex Iwobi!
Born on May 3, 1996, Alex Iwobi stands tall amongst Nigerians in sports that are doing really well for themselves outside the borders of Nigeria.
The player has been quite instrumental for Arsenal in their League run so far, despite loosing to Atletico Madrid in the crucial UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg cash, the player makes our list for a job well done for Arsenal and the Super Eagles so far.
However, football is not the only reason Iwobi is here. The player was recently given the Philanthropic Endeavour: Community Action award by BOA for the role he has played as an activist, impacting communities in more ways than one.
Iwobi is dedicated to helping the less privileged and communities in general move from a totally helpless state, to one where they can at least have basic needs met.
Nigerian-American Kehinde Babatunde Oladipo, is a professional basketball player for the Indiana Pacers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
Oladipo was in Oklahoma City Thunder, however his performance there was no-good enough, so the manager, Sam Presti traded him and Doamntas Sabonis to the Pacers to buy star, Paul George. However this move was of almost no benefit to the Thunder team.
In Pacers, Victor Oladipo went on to make his first ever NBA All-Star Game and took Lebron James and Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the postseason.