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Nigerian Basketball legend, Yomi Sangodeyi has passed on and the basketball community has been thrown into mourning following the demise of first Nigerian basketball player to be awarded Sports Man of The Year.

In a statement issued by the Nigerian Basketball Federation board led by its President, Musa Kida, in an emotion laden, described Sangodeyi as a big brother and a legend of the game. Popularly known as Yomi Basket, who became famous with the Nigerian National teams to many international tournaments in the late 70s and 80s, died on Tuesday.

“He was like a big brother to many of us then in the National Team. He made it easy for us as young athletes to find our feet and settle in the team during our active days. “We have not just lost a great basketball mind that got drafted by the NBA in 1984 by the New Jersey Nets, we have lost one of the two FIBA Hall of Famers from Nigeria, the other being Mr. Babs Ogunade the VP of the NBBF. He was our national treasure who typified everything basketball stood for in Nigeria and beyond” said, Kida.

Echoing ESPN Africa, article in an edition in 2017, Sangodeyi was listed alongside Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon, Alabi Adelanwa, Joe Garba and Emmanuel Chagu as one of the five greatest Nigerian players.

Mr. Kida added, Sangodeyi was arguably the first and best centre of the modern era who became Nigeria’s first full-time professional basketball player.

“Yomi was a complete basketball player which many today would have found difficult to handle. He had a great impact on our generation with the famous NBA Hall of Famers, Hakeem Olajuwon being one of his students while in the national team.” He said.

Sangodeyi who was a student-athlete at the Sam Houston State University, Texas USA, studied Criminal Justice and went on to play in Italy, Spain, Turkey, Israel, Argentina and Brazil where he left his marks. He has since been buried according to Islamic rites. 

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