Making an appearance on Metro TV’s Vodafone Sports café on Thursday morning as the ‘Personality of the Week’ the unflagging and young entrepreneur says his drive to use basketball to reach out to the youth and develop a career avenue for them propelled him to venture that course.
Mr Afari is expected to be honoured by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) for his immense contribution to the development of basketball in the West African Country at a dinner gala on Saturday September 11 at the Banquet Hall, State House- Accra.
‘We’re extremely delighted for the honour done us by the Sports Writers Association of Ghana and it’s an indication that hard work pays’ Yaw Sakyi Afari told host Michael Katahena
‘The game has a great future in the country and if we get the necessary support from current and successive government, then we can be sure of taking it to the highest level in Ghana. We shouldn’t deceive ourselves and throw our hand in despair because help is not coming. It is never true that basketball is all about height. We must disabuse our minds of such comments because not all basketball players in the world have height. It boils down to one’s tenacity and speed and these characteristics are crucial for one to become successful’
He added: ’The idea is to make sure our friends, children and younger brothers will not become redundant when they complete school. That is why we have brands for the various sectors ranging from JHS, SHS, Universities and the communities.
Touching on the future of the game in the West African country, he admitted the challenges but stated the sport has a great chance to be big in Ghana.
‘We should make sure quality but brainy people play basketball. Very well-spoken off professions and that increase the chances of people venturing into the game. The country abounds in huge talents and we must as a nation capitalize on that and make it work.’
‘It has the ability to put Ghana on the world map on a different sport, win laurels and make it a career avenue for these young talents’.
He bemoaned the lack of basic infrastructure in the country has been the bane of the sport for many years.
‘It is shocking and sad that we cannot even boast of a single indoor court which keeps hampering our quest. Basketball is an indoor game and for a sporting nation like Ghana to be deprived of such a facility is unfortunate. We just hope and pray government will help to divert some few resources devoted to soccer to build at least one indoor facility’. he concluded
The development and promotion of basketball in Ghana has seen a massive leap since Rite Multimedia took a giant and an audacious initiative to promote the game. The private event company has managed to heighten the interest of the game in the country, especially among the youth.
Rite Multimedia which is the brain child of the renowned entertainment TV host is also credited with successfully organising competitions among students of Junior and Senior High Schools (Milo Junior Ball and Sprite Ball Championship respectively) and also staged a highly competitive basketball league dubbed ‘community dunks’ among some selected communities in the Greater Accra Region last year.
The Accra based event company is expected to roll out season-2 of Community Dunks at the University of Ghana basketball court starting Saturday September 11,2010 (and every other Saturday) before the 2010 edition of the famous Sprite Ball Championship takes centre stage from October – December in eight (8) regions.
The passion and enthusiasm that has greeted most youth in the country since the famous Sprite Ball championships was introduced four years ago is beggaring description and it has gained massive inches in the Ghanaian press and other parts of the world.
By: Patrick Akoto
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