“Ut Omnes Unum Sint” meaning “That All May Be One” is the motto of this great African institution and indeed Achimota is a great African institution. Of the many stellar names the school boasts of since its creation in 1927 by Sir Governor Guggisberg, none come bigger or better than the Heads of State who graduated from Achimota. For starters, three of Ghana’s former leaders and current President John Dramani Mahama are alums just as Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe.
In sports particularly basketball, Achimota has distinguished itself as major player in the fraternity. The school holds the enviable record of being winners of the first edition of Ghana’s biggest and most celebrated high school basketball event, the Sprite Ball Championship, in 2007. The male basketball team beat a St. Augustine’s College side that featured legendary names like Josiah Karikari, Carl Tamakloe and Kwame Boamah Djan to win the boys division with the bronze medal going to Oda Senior High School.
The coed school also enjoyed success in the girls division as the female team placed third behind St. Mary’s Senior High School and Mfantseman Girls Senior High. The subsequent years brought more success as the school’s male side featured in the top two positions in the next two editions of the competition; 2008’s edition had the team win the ultimate prize over an emerging force in Keta Senior High School.
A year before, the side had fallen to rival school Presbyterian Senior High in the final game. Since then, the school has barely featured prominently in the competition culminating in failing to qualify to the main championship for three straight editions.
The situation is much worse for the female side as the bronze medal win in the maiden edition is the only thing the team has to show for its efforts.
Consistent failures to make the roster at the main competition has resulted in other schools staking a major claim in the tournament with the likes of Sacred Heart Senior High School, T.I.Ahmadiyya and Aggrey Memorial Mount Zion School respectively winning the competition twice.
Their male counterparts having fared better in the male division, unfortunately finds itself in the same hole as the team is no more the force it was in the early days of the Sprite Ball Championship.
The unbalanced state of the respective teams early on has made way for a rather even ambience as both teams are underwhelming achievers in the tournament.
The present contrast sharply with the glory days between 2007 and 2009 and the achievement of the respective sides of the school does same.
Despite the failures on the court, Achimota remains a major force among the top schools in Ghana and indeed Africa. But that all may be one is definitely what Achimota need from both male and female basketball teams at the tenth edition of Sprite Ball in January 2017 to restore its name at the summit of the game in Ghana.