As the joint top winners of the girls category of the Sprite Ball Championship, T.I. Ahmadiyya Senior High School in Kumasi is undoubtedly one of the top rated high school basketball programs in Ghana.
Only Aggrey Memorial Mount Zion’s Senior High’s record of two wins in six finals appearances stands atop the hierarchy. Little was known about the coed school in the Ashanti Region but after storming out of the gate to win the 2014 edition in its debut campaign, their name became cast in stone.
Repeating the wonderful feat 12 months down the line laid credence to the massive strides the school has made all the years of lying in the doldrums of the sport as rivals from the region and other parts of the nation laid their hands on the most sought after trophy in the land. 2014, marked a change of guard in the Sprite Ball Championship as three time winners Mfantsipim School, who won the title in three straight years, was beaten by Keta Senior High School in the final game in the boys division.
In the girls division, the turbulent waters of the female game ushered in a neophyte that stormed through the multiple stages of the ultra competitive event right from the regional stage to the national stage. After shocking all to make the final game, AMASS did the unthinkable by beating three time finalist and defending champion Aggrey Memorial to lift the competition.
There was more joy to appreciated through the camp as star Guard Rachel Obeng was voted as the Fans Most Valuable Player of the competition in the wake of a catalogue of dazzling performances and incredible court vision to set teammates up for baskets aside those from her feathery hands that guided the ball through the hoop.
Coach Ahmed’s side was a deserved winner and rightly so celebrated as one. 12 months later, many believed the female division which was yet to see a team other than Sacred Heart Senior High School repeat as champions, were skeptical about AMASS’ chances of doing same. However, the side proved the skeptics/naysayers/doubters wrong by beating Aggrey again in the final to lift the school’s second title in the competition and equal Sacred Heart’s record.
In the process, AMASS became the school to beat in the Ashanti Region- a thought hitherto was unthinkable- as qualification to the national event went from a daunting task to a mere walk in the park exercise.
A third consecutive title was on the line in the 2016 edition as the side got handed an easy draw when it got paired in Group B alongside Nkaakaw Senior High School and novice Accra Wesley Girls Senior High School. But a shock loss to the debutants spelled impending doom that awaited AMASS in the latter stages and it proved true as the school missed out on a final game ticket.
Beating regional counterpart Kumasi Girls Senior High School to win bronze turned out to be the consolation prize for missing out making history. January 2017 marks the tenth anniversary of Sprite Ball and the celebration of champions cannot be complete without T.I. Ahmadiyya who will be chasing history again.