You might have heard the stories being told of the queen mother of Ejisu-a small town just outside Ghana’s Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi- leading an army to fight British colonialists many years ago and you might heard, her bravery and leadership made her one of the feared warriors the nation has ever known.
Her name is Yaa Asantewaa and it is hardly surprising an all female high school would look up to this woman as a pillar of strength and patroness way back in 1965 when then President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah founded the school.
Since its’ inception Yaa Asantewaa Girls Senior High School has consistently ranked among top schools in Ghana. Aside the immense academic success the school can easily point at, other areas chief among them sports, has been a bedrock for the institution to build on over the years.
Aside dominating in several sports disciplines at the regional and national level, basketball has been the one sport that vaulted Yaa Asantewaa into the stratosphere of excellence. Competing in the most celebrated high school basketball competition in the West African sub region, the Sprite Ball Championship, the school has waded through several phases of the ever evolving, exciting and ultra competitive tournament.
From failing to progress out of the preliminary stage, to winning bronze and finally claiming gold in 2012, YAGS has seen it all. Part of the historic quartet of teams that made the Championship final cut during the great expansion years of the competition in 2009, alongside big names like Prempeh College and Opoku Ware School, Yaa Asantewaa made its debut.
It didn’t take long for the talented ladies of the school to show growth in their play the following year after a novice-esque introduction to the tournament as the side clinched bronze in its second outing.
The win over Tema Senior High School earned them what was to become a stepping stone in their ascent to the summit of the game at the high school level. And that summit was reached two years later as Yaa Asantewaa became the first ever Ashanti Region-based high school in both categories to lift the trophy after beating Tema this time in the final game in 2012. En route to clinching the historic feat, the side toppled two time champions Sacred Heart Senior High School to third place.
The feat has been repeated and bettered by rivals T.I.Ahmadiyya who won the competition in 2014 and repeated as champions a year later. Conversely, times have turned sour for Yaa Asantewaa’s hoops program in recent years as the side has been unable to qualify out of the group stages in the main competition.
At the last Sprite Ball edition, held in January 2016, the school failed to make it for the national championships after failing to qualify from the region with T.I.Ahmediyya and Kumasi Girls Senior High School picking up the available slots. The tenth anniversary of Sprite Ball is set for January 2017 and with the heightened glamour and prestige at stake, trust the ladies from Yaa Asantewaa Senior High School to deliver.