The Sprite Ball Championship is one of the most drool over in recent memory and the 2014 edition is expected to bring out emerging talents while already made products will be keen to cement their places .
As the date for the hugely anticipated tournament among senior high school intensifies, we explore some of the players to look out for during the next edition in January next year.
It’s safe to say that there is tons of talent to college basketball this season.
There will be great teams to watch, teams comprised of awesome fresh and others but which of them will pop out as undeniably the top star of the tournament?
Salifu Mishael (Mfanstipim)
Mfantsipim’s new recruit will be one of the emerging talents to watch out for next year and a blossom of fire expected to come from the youngster.
He will be headline to an already-stacked Mfantsipim next season, brimmed with confidence having grabbed the major talking points over the past three years.
He’s got crazy ups, and can practically kiss the rim. He makes a living throwing down monstrous dunks, and you can be sure he’ll get some of those next year.
Also using that length and that jumping ability, Mishael has made a name for himself with spectacular blocks.
He’s oozing with potential but must work on some aspect of his game to become a polished product.
In high school he relied on his athletic gifts and some simple post moves to dominate.
But if you want to see some ridiculously athletic plays and some above-the-rim action from a top prospect, this is a guy you want to take a look at.
Emmanuel Wolf (Koforidua Secondary Technical School, KSTS)
Where Mishael Salifu isn’t extremely polished, Emmanuel Wolff is the opposite. Here’s a guy who can pass, shoot, drive, defend, rebound and handle. All with a high basketball IQ and winning pedigree.
Wolff is simple n finished product.
His talent is undeniable, and he led Koforidia Secondary and Technical School to grab silver in the 2013 National Sprite Ball in Accra, which is practically unheard of.
Jabari Parker is listed at 5’9″ and though he played inside a lot in high school he demonstrated great wing skills. So don’t be surprised to see him doing both next year at a yet to be determined venue.
Wolff is still very athletic, a potential top-five pick in the Sprite Ball draft, someone who has a very polished inside-outside game. With his size and skills, he has the ability to absolutely dominate the game.
And in Accra, he will have the opportunity to do so. Whether you hate KSTS or are a die-hard fan, Wolff’s upcoming season will be one to keep an eye on.
He has become a dominant figure and an improved player from 2012 when he made his first start as a first year student Abuakwa State College at Kibi in the Eastern region.
After three years of playing and seemingly embracing the role of villain, the youngster has turned everything around.
He used 2013 as a vessel to get noticed with swash-buckling performance that got him many admirers.
And now he’s at that point-one that saw him lay claim to all of the aforementioned feats and transform himself both as a person and athlete.
The Sprite Ball Championship is not all smiles.
It’s a serious competition which has gained inches in the Ghanaian press. It cannot therefore be all fun and games – especially for future stars.
Enjoying one’s self and what they do is completely acceptable. After all, these guys are amateurs basketball players. Therefore they must understand that to become a super star is not just a gift, it’s a burden as well.
Simply put, Wolff committed to becoming more responsible, a devotion that culminated in a historic year for him and his KSTS School.
Wolff’s game entailed taken all the motion out of the game, but it require limiting argued calls, exaggerated facial expressions and approaching every game against every opponent the same way.
Wolff continues to improve day after day.
No one is perfect and the fact that anyone realizes that is half the championship-caliber battle.
Once you accept that you’ve reached your peak as a player, you have set precedent for complacency.
Once you become complacent, you feel the need not to prove nothing. From there, you lose that drive.
You lose that productive chip that should always be placed upon your shoulder. Morgan has never lost it. He’s only accentuated.
Complacency is the enemy of progress, and a lack of progress is the enemy of success.
His jump shooting was criticized, so he honed his perimeter mechanics. He began to rely too heavily on his rim and perimeter attack, so he materialized a post game.
A year that serves as a message to all mushrooming talents; one that makes it clear settling for what you have and what you can already do isn’t acceptable.
There are more of such talents that we’ll explore in due course.