How a three-day basketball event captured an entire nation’s imagination still baffles many but however awkward it sounds, it is true. A collection of senior high school players moved people-high and mighty- to catch glimpses of Ghana’s rich future basketball on display at a nine year old event dubbed Sprite Ball Championship. Frenetic pace, dazzling skills and uber savvyness is still yet to leak out of many a memory. But no need to fret because something great is coming; just a few weeks shy of departing from Ghana’s most followed outdoor program, get ready, another is about to hit you.

The Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges (UPAC) Basketball Champiosnhip will start its long journey to reward the nation’s best beginning in the month of love. Spread across a three month stretch, UPAC was initiated into the nation’s growing hoops repertoire to create an avenue for the continuous development of basketball talents. Aside nurturing budding talents, UPAC’s creation and its’ unique time frame offered yet another avenue to satisfy ever demanding “basketball” needs of Ghanaians.

Originally called Universities and Colleges basketball Championship in 2010, the change of name and format became necessary to make the tournament a complete fusion of varied sects that exist at the tertiary level. Prior to UPAC, Ghana University Sports Association (GUSA), PUSAG (Private Universities Students Association) and Ghana Polytechnic Sports Association (GHAPSA) held basketball competitions at different times in the year. UPAC’s presence on tertiary sports itinerary, guarantees a one stop avenue for all tertiary institutions to be represented. Come March 5, defending champions Accra Polytechnic will seek to retain their title in the face of stern competition from 27 other schools including last edition’s beaten finalist Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).


Accra Poly made history by emerging winners of the maiden edition held in 2011 by beating University of Education (Winneba) as Takoradi Polytechnic came third. The team’s main core of 2015 Most Valuable Player of the Year Abdul Mutaleb Alhassan, Romeo Ennan, John Teye-Okumoh and sharpshooter Farahat Aliu Tamimu must pull out all the stops to get past strong rivals Ebenezer Borsah of University of Professional Studies (UPSA), McMartey Lawer of Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and Emmanuel Wolff from University of Ghana. The Accra-based side’s unrivaled supremacy in tertiary waters will be tested particularly by a resurgent University of Ghana team who are on a mission to re-establish themselves as hoops behemoths; UG recently won GUSA basketball championship by handing UPSA a 65-49 defeat in the competition final.

Celebrated coaches Meme Falconer and Emmanuel “Ghana” Essel will renew their budding rivalry after the former student guided his team to beat “Ghana’s” experienced side as fast rising coaches James Okine and Lawrence Ampiah will seek to add more gloss to an ever improving CV. After guiding Pope John’s Senior High and Marshalls University to surprise bronze medal places at Sprite Ball and last year’s UPAC respectively, coach Okine is primed to embark on a medal quest again. University of Cape-Coast assistant coach Lawrence Ampiah has already laid down the winning gauntlet following successive successful stints at the tertiary and high school level. The soft-spoken coach led his Alma Mater St. Augustine’s College to a first ever national basketball championship and assisted in UCC’s bronze medal finish at the GUSA Games.

One special feature about is UPAC is the off-court battle that exists between participating schools. As players play to outscore opponents, fans particularly “jama” groups do their best to ousting each other on the sidelines. In previous editions, UG’s “Vandals” from Commonwealth Hall, “Conti” from KNUST’s Unity Hall, Accra Poly’s “Zulu” group and UPSA’s “Bobo Kingdom” have serenaded their teams with lovely tunes all the while mocking their opponents.This year’s edition, with more schools being roped in across eight of Ghana’s ten regions, promises to hold an even better collection of songs and antics from the respective school lead groups. The ripples of a prospective shakedown will surely have the entire competition ablaze.

The 2016 UPAC will be officially launched on February 16 before a series of warm up games are played to herald the tournament’s commencement February 27. Regional qualifiers will be held between March 5 and April 8 before the main finals are held on April 15 and 16 at the University of Ghana.



  1. Hello every one just want to say congratulation to all the supporting cast putting this program together , i know basketball is now developing in Ghana and so happy about it , myself born in Ghana but move to Canada , and have played basketball since , and even coach , and so pump to some day be in Ghana to join the group to elevate basketball to a different level , might visit Ghana sometime this year , hoping to get in touch with some in other to be part of this game helping to youth to shine.


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