Just seven years after its successful introduction in Ghana, the Sprite Ball Championship has enjoyed an explosive growth.
With an exponential increase in the number of players, events and media coverage, Sprite Ball 2014 was a massive hit and a huge breakthrough for basketball growth in the West African country.
The discipline is now played everywhere in Ghana as budding talents have joined the revolutionary digital platform showcasing what the country can do in the foreseeable future.
Even though schools from six regions took part in the prestigious championship this year, the game has been expanded to eight regions with only the Upper East and West yet to taste an action in the competition.
Title sponsors Sprite have promised to go cover the entire ten regions of Ghana as it continues the push to ensure the game is played in all corners of the country.
Featured on TV3 prominently this term, the 7th edition of the tournament was a resounding success with an increasing number of teams and fans. The regional blocks are keen to bid to host the national final next year due to the increasing interest and popularity amongst the youth in the country.
The 2014 edition of the prestigious tournament produced many thrills and disappointments for some of the teams which were highly tipped to win the ultimate diadem.
Last year’s losing finalist in the boys division, Koforidua Secondary and Technical School could only manage a quarter-final berth after losing their contest against eventual winners Keta Senior High.
It a sticking point in the competition as an obvious distraught and dejected looking KSTS side bundled out of the contest.
Kumasi-based Prempeh College could not even make it into the knockout phase while St Mary’s without their talisman Ama Serwaa Mitchual looked pale shadow of themselves as they exited the competition from the group phase.
This year’s edition generated many talking points after three-time champions Mfantsipim were dethroned after dominating the competition for many years.
The Cape Coast-based side are currently on a rebuilding exercise having lost most of their key players during the three-year dominance.
Debut winners Presbyterian Boys Senior High came out gun-blazing after rediscovering their form following their slip in recent years.
The Accra-based side won the competition in 2007 but have since gone into hibernation as they have played catch-ups.
But a newly-looking Presec side did their school proud by displaying mature basketball at the El-Wak stadium to silence their critics.
Their charismatic coach Kofi Yesu promised to deliver gold but even though he failed in that attempt, he left the competition with his head high.
It was always going to be Ketasco from the start of the competition after seeing off Ghana Lebanon and Islamic School in their opening fixture.
Inspired by MVP Sedem Tetevi, the Keta-based school never looked back as they outmuscled their way, beating Koforidua Secondary Technical School in the quarter-final before accounting for Opoku Ware School in an exciting semi-final contest.
They managed to finally inked the title after beating Presec-Legon in a nerve-racking game in front of a packed crowd.
A top official of Coca-cola said: “We strongly believe that basketball is an exciting and spectacular discipline which offers a unique cocktail of the sport and entertainment,”
“It responded to our clear wish to rejuvenate and modernize the game. That is why we’ll be sponsoring some individuals to South Africa as part of our plans to project the impact of the game in Ghana.
“We are delighted to have been involved and are particularly thrilled that many budding talents are emerging from this annual competition.”