BASKETBALLghana.com columnist Sandy Asiedu takes his turn on the successful 2014 Sprite Ball Championship held in Accra and argues the future is bright for the hugely popular sports.
By Sandy Asiedu
The venue was right, atmosphere for outdoor basketball was on point, branding was visible fans were charged to roar and cheer their favorite schools to victory, what else could one ask for, than a good basketball game on Saturday 11 Jan, there was drama, individual brilliance, team work, sticky 3 pointer fingers, crossovers, shot block, swats, tricks, flicks, mouth drooling rim breaking Dunks on showcase.
The blue magic from Presec legon. Who were rookies at this year’s tournament, came with one aim, and that was to totally dominate from the preliminaries till they were thought a great lesson of consistency by the Ketasco dream team.
Schools like OWASS, ADISCO, PREMPEH, St. AUGUSTINES COLLEGE and MFANTSIPIM, were a pale shadow of themselves as they flattered to deceive game after game in this year’s competition, haven’t won it three years in a row.
In my view the Central Regional powerhouse would be the team to beat but unfortunately ended up as the boogie side.
Presec won the maiden edition of the tournament in 2007 but went into hibernation. But they went back to their root and reorganized, came back and took the competition by storm.
Their return saw a very tactically matured, well built and physically strong side that was dominant in all departments of the court, they made clowns out of every team that came their way, for the first time I actually saw some good set plays on court with the point guards playing their roles to perfection, most teams who did not have big men advantage used the backdoor system to perfection, power forwards of Ketasco, Presec and the diminutive baby face assassin Kweku from Opoku Ware showed class with their weaving drives and crossover’s.
The lady’s could not be left out because there was total dominance from TI Ahmadiyya from start to finish as Rachael Obeng dazzled her power drives against Aggrey Memorial A.M.E Zion Girls in the final game.
The likes of Tema Senior High, St. Mary’s and Kajebi Asato played their hearts out but lacked the cutting edge and tactical discipline to dispose off the majestic queens from the Ashanti Region.
The women’s game has seen vast improvement from last year and I believe it’s due to the hard work of coaches and officials of both male and female schools for making it a habit of seeking the services of basketball coaches who have the technical knowhow.
In all I would say this year has seen great transformation from previous competitions because the fundamental aspect of the game which is the basic side of basketball, was applied to its fullest potential.
It’s a fresh season, old warriors have left their schools, new kings and queens would be crowned, it’s going to be difficult for one school to be as dominant as Mfantsipim was for 3 years running considering what I saw, but I’m happy to say, competitiveness breaths competition and that’s what Rite Multimedia, Coca cola/sprite, Tv3 and other supporting partners want to see in all tournaments.
Basketball is the driving force of the youth, it is what takes them off the streets and makes them instant heroes in their communities and schools, let us value the talents we have and nature them to greater heights so we can groom an Olympic team in the near future.