With many of the 26 schools billed to compete in Ghana’s biggest basketball tournament confirmed, Basketballghana.com’s Yaw Adjei-Mintah looks at the Central regional representatives for the upcoming Rite Sports organized tournament.
Widely considered the citadel of education for its impressive collection of A-list schools including Holy Child School, Wesley Girls’ High School and Ghana National College, the Central Region is the dominant force of high school basketball.
The region can boast of several past winners of the national title.
The first Catholic high school established in Ghana played a key role in laying the foundations for the region’s dominance in later years after placing second in the first championship game.
“AUGUSCO” lost in the final to Achimota School in the championship’s maiden edition in 2007 at the competition’s former host venue Aviation Center. A part of the original set of schools that participated in the first Sprite Ball, Augustine’s fortunes have floundered ever since.
However, renewed commitment from school authorities has culminated in back to back qualification to the championship and it clearly spells the school’s imminent ascension back to the top.
Come January, the team will hope to surpass feats chalked by the likes of Kwame Boamah Djan, Carl Tamakloe, Carl Dugbartey and John Karikari.
The male basketball team made history by qualifying to the championship for the first time by coming in second at the regional games. The team beat out Edinam Senior High and Asuansi Secondary Technical School before falling to St. Augustine’s.
Unlike their female contemporaries who are former national winners and can boast of two time tournament Most Valuable Player Joana Danso, the male team has struggled to make an impact after failing to qualify on several occasions.
With the wind in their sail after such a historic achievement, the team looks primed to continue in the footsteps of Bompeh Senior High School and T.I. AMASS who sent shock waves in their respective debuts in the tournament.
The institution referred to as “The School”, should be renamed “The Basketball School” for its illustrious history in Sprite Ball. “Kwabotwe” holds the record for most wins at the tournament after amassing a whopping four trophies.
The school has already bagged the Sprite Ball trophy for keeps following its third title win in 2013. Mfantsipim’s tremendous support can be credited for the immense success chalked so far with school authorities and Old Boys Association pumping massive amounts of cash into the basketball program. The perennial title favorites will be on the hunt for a record extending fifth time.
Thanks to their male counterparts maiden surprise qualification for the main championship, Aggrey will have both sects of students compete nationally for the first time.
The perennial powerhouse coasted through the qualifiers to yet another regional title to preserve their status as the main team to challenge defending champion T.I. AMASS’s reign.
Though the present team has a new look about them, they ought to have the nostalgic killer instinct of previous winning teams.
Lost amongst the bigger profiles of regional contemporaries Aggrey Memorial and Mfantsipim, Mfantsiman has obscurely carved a niche for itself as a consistent and hard playing side.
They easily dispatched Holy Child, Wesley Girls’ and Ghana National College’s female team before falling to defending champion Aggrey Memorial in the regional final.
The ladies from “Syte” go into next year’s tournament on the back of consecutive third place finishes with the firm belief of usurping T.I. AMASS and Aggrey Memorial to to the national title.