After an extensive look at the Western Region’s representatives at the Sprite Ball Championship over the years, the focus now switches to the Eastern Region where the love affair for the great high school basketball championship is not lost on any of the prestigious schools involved.
Nkawkaw Senior High School rightly springs into mind as the right school to kick start the focus on the region’s immense contribution to the development of the celebrated championship and basketball at large.
Spotted on the picturesque mountain range that dots the region, the cold and serene atmosphere belies the competitive urge of Nkawkaw.
The school has consistently been a towering presence in the region’s sports annals competing and topping several competitions including football, handball and volleyball. But it is basketball that the school is most noted for as sides that have been fielded over the years by the school, have put in great efforts.
The great KAWSEC made a splash on the national scene with a shock win in the maiden edition of the regional championship in 2009 when the Sprite Ball Championship opened up the competition to field schools from other spots in the country.
By displaying sheer brilliance on both ends of the court, Nkawkaw’s girls’ basketball team unseated favorites Akosombo International School, Aburi Girls Senior High School and St. Rose’s Senior High School to emerge champions of the division and secure qualification to Sprite Ball.
That year marked the school’s long standing relationship with the Championship as the side has consistently featured in subsequent years.
However, years of mediocrity plagued the side as underwhelming results forced Nkawkaw to miss out on a place in the latter stages of the competition.
Seeing the likes of then novices T.I.Ahmediyya rack up wins at the national stage despite being relatively new to the competition, a turning point was needed for Nkawkaw to realize its major potential.
In the eight edition held in January 2015 at the El-Wak Stadium in Ghana’s capital, Accra, the side was pitted against Aggrey Memorial Mount Zion, Ahantaman Girls Senior High School and Labone Senior High School in Group B.
Coming up against a former winner in Aggrey and medalist in Labone Senior High, Nkawkaw rose above the massive challenge to qualify from the group where it lost out to eventual champions T.I. Ahmediyya in the semifinals and Mfantseman Senior High School to finish fourth in the competition for its highest finish in the competition.
Conversely, the school’s unfinished business to the ultimate title was shattered a year later as the side waltzed through the regional qualifiers to once again make the final 16 high school roster for the ninth edition.
Horror struck when the side failed to make an appearance at the competition due to administrative issues that engulfed the team’s preparations to the tournament.
The coed school is yet to represent in the boys division but has carved a niche in the girls division and with the illustrious tenth edition coming up in January 2017, Nkawkaw Senior High School will be the foremost name to look out for in the East.