2017 Sprite Ball High School Basketball Championship which marks the tenth edition of the much heralded tournament in West Africa has a lot of storylines that adds up to the spice and fun the beloved tourney has come to showcase since its inception in 2007.
Would St. Augustine’s College retain its maiden title or would the most successful team in the championship, Mfantsipim School, remedy the ills of the past year to claim a record extending fifth trophy? Be sure to hear endless jibes of such talks in the coming weeks and months as we count down to the opening game in January next year.
However, one school that has been a near constant feature in the championship since schools from Ghana’s Western Region were invited to compete is St. John’s School. The young men in green on the pristine hills of the other half of the coastal twin city of Sekondi-Takoradi are a behemoth at the regional level and has successfully transferred such good form into making qualification to the prestigious national event a mere formality, a walk in the park or whichever phrase you deem fit to describe the school which goes by the moniker, “The Saints”.
Its basketball team along with bitter rivals Ghana Secondary Technical School has laid waste to the rest of the field in the region with the exception of 2015 where novice Bompeh Secondary Technical School made a surprise run to qualify and make it all the way to semifinals.
But that and St. John’s inability to progress beyond the quarter finals is history as the side prepares itself for what is expected to be a once in a lifetime ride to the top of high school basketball. St. John’s failed to progress out of Group C in the last edition in a group that had Adisadel College, Prempeh College and Pope John Senior High School; Pope John placed third in the competition.
A close 13-16 loss to quarter finalists Prempeh College ended St. John’s chances of making the elite eight in the competition and an end to yet another frustrating run. Missing a apotent offensive line proved tobe the main bane of the team as the side competed fiercely on the defensive end of the court but was a step behind opposing sides on the more glamorous end.
The endearing playing style that was big on commitment and never give up attitude convinced the school’s alumni who came in droves to motivate the young men and give them support to improve for the upcoming event.
The old boys who are affectionately called “Old Saints” donated a brand new set of jersey and other accessories including balls and nets to the team after exiting the tourney.
The gesture clearly had an impact on the side as several members vowed to put in more work to fare better at the tenth edition. In line with the school’s motto “Preparing the Way”, the flashes of elite defense, passing and discipline, St, John’s is preparing the way for something in 2017.