Come January 2017, the tenth edition of the most celebrated high school basketball tournament in West Africa- the Sprite Ball Championship- will come alive in Ghana’s capital, Accra in what promises to be a celebration of basketball, music and a walk down the path of many great players who graced the yellow and green silhouettes.
But before the celebrations can begin, it is only fair the great institutions who have made the tournament a must see and a permanent fixture on the Ghanaian sports calendar, are honored. In nine years, over a hundred high schools dotted all over the country has graced this competition.
One of such illustrious schools to have accomplished the massive feat of making the national competition is Archbishop Porter Girls Senior High School.
The all girls’ school established in 1965, has over the years been bedrock of sound, and disciplined education for some of the brightest and well respected women in the country.
Aside education, Porter’s as they are affectionately called, have thrived in sports especially basketball where the school ranks as one of the top teams in the nation.
With the enviable record of being one of the first schools from the Western Region to qualify for the national games in 2009, the school laid down the mark as force to be reckoned with. In the first ever qualifiers organized in the region as the continued growth of the tournament forced organizers to expand the format and rope in more schools from hitherto untouched regions, Porters made the cut as finalists in one half of the region’s twin city capital, Takoradi.
Placing second behind Shama Senior High School, Porter’s made their debut in the competition in the third edition against many odds. At the main event however, the more experienced field which had the likes of 2007 winners St. Mary’s Secondary School and 2008 winners Sacred Heart Senior High School, exposed the novice’ flaws to bundle them out at the preliminary stage.
Years further, much hasn’t changed about the school’s stature in the sport and how high it can go in the wake of underwhelming results that have rocked the side’s chances. Once a mainstay in the competition, Archbishop Porter has not featured in the past three editions as Shama has consistently dashed all hopes of renewing the lost glory days.
But not all hope is lost for the school which is located in the other half of the capital; Sekondi as renewed efforts are being put in place to restore the school’s glory.
The latest signs of a renaissance point to Forward Joana Obeng, who recently graduated from the school and participated in the groundbreaking High Schools and College Draft where her impressive form and athleticism earned her an educational scholarship from powerhouse Accra Polytechnic.
Obeng was part of the young fledgling side that finished third in the regional’s and have many holdovers from that team primed to compete.
“Purity of Mind and Body” states the motto of the school and after the loss-drenched dark days of yesteryear, the 2017 Sprite Ball Championship is purely Archbishop Porter Girls Senior High Schools’.