Nothing has moved the needle quite like Ketasco’s final triumph during the 2014 Sprite Ball Championship and TI Ahmadiyya’s famous win in the girls division.
From Chris Bosh’s famous visit to Ghana, the second edition of the Ghana Basketball and Leadership Camp, UPAC Championship warm-up games and the big trip to South Africa dominated the major talking points in 2014.
Ketasco triumph, TI Ahmadiyya steal limelight in 2014 Sprite Ball finals
The year started with Keta Senior High finally grabbing the title in the Sprite Ball Championship after several unsuccessful attempts in the boys division.
The Volta Region-based school beat favourites Presbyterian Boys School (PRESEC) Legon, 25-18 in the finals to win the enviable trophy.
KETASCO took home a giant trophy, products from sponsors and cash prize for their efforts, whilst PRESEC also received products from sponsors and a cash prize.
Opoku Ware Senior High School placed third, whilst defending champions Mfantsipim failed to live up to expectation by finishing a disappointing fourth.
KETASCO’s key man Sedem Tetevi was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the competition (MVP) with their coach Kofi Siaw Boateng also winning the best Coach gong.
In the Girls division, Kumasi based TI Ahmadiyya (Amass) grabbed the ultimate prize by beating Aggrey Memorial School whilst Mfantseman Girls placed third.
Aggrey Memorial’s Joana Danso won the MVP award. Fans of Kumasi Secondary Technical School (K.S.T.S) were adjudged the best fans of the competition.
Chris Bosh in Ghana
NBA super star Chris Bosh visited Ghana in July as part of the second edition of the Sprite Ball Clinic held in the West African country.
The famous visit from the Miami Heat star attracted massive inches in the Ghanaian press and highlighted the massive improvement chalked in the development and promotional drive of the sports.
Joined by top officials of NBA Africa, the Ghana Basketball Association and Coca-Cola, the 30-year-old spent five days in the country where he interacted with players and officials and familiarized himself with the fastest growing sports in the country.
He held two clinics in Accra (Aviation Social Centre) and Cape Coast (Adisadel College), visiting the historic Castle as part of his tour.
At the end of the clinic, Joel Mensah and Nathan Mensah were selected to represent Ghana during the annual Basketball Without Borders programme held in South Africa in August.
Ghana Basketball and Leadership Camp
The second edition of the Ghana Basketball and Leadership Camp took place in September this year.
The seven-day residential camping turned out to be the most exciting in the two-year history of the prestigious event.
Over thirty campers were taken through rigorous training sessions which included learning the fundamentals such as handling, dribbling, lay-ups, shooting amongst others.
For the first time in the early history of the event, campers underwent swimming exercise at the University pool side, bringing lots of the excitement on the faces of the campers.
The team travelled to Cape Coast to tour the historic castle where they were briefed on the impact of the slave trade on the continent.
The improved display of the campers were manifested when they won three out of four exhibition games during the one-week exercise.
The U-16 boys managed a 28-22 win over Tema West at the Liman Hall Basketball court while their U-19 counterpart produced a late surge to beat the same side 31-30 at the same venue.
The team followed it up with another friendly game in Cape Coast against Hoops Care International, with the U-16 losing to the home side while the U-19 produced a mouthwatering display to dispatch their host 33-30 in a cagey contest.
Certificates of participation were given to all the campers with certain awards going to individuals who excelled during the one-week exercise.
Christian Quartey was adjudged the MVP in the Under-16 category for his fine performances during two friendly matches played at the Liman Hall and the Hoops Care International court in Cape Coast respectively.
Former St Augustines’ captain Gracefield Attoh was crowned the Most Outstanding Leader while young promising Abigail Nortey was adjudged the Most Improved Camper.
Brandon Tettey Yorm won the Best Swimmer while John Amanor and Team won the debate on the topic ‘ Are leaders born or made’
Best Rebounded went Tamakloe Selasi while the Nana Kojo Opoku Amusah was voted the Youngest Camper.
The Most Disciplined Award went to Selorm Adade with Issabella Yeboah-Asiedu winning the Most Consistent Camper.
The top most award went Rudolph Koblah Acolatse who capped an incredible seven days by winning the MVP.
South Africa fever
Winners of the 2014 Sprite Ball Championship took a memorable trip to South Africa last week.
The five day education trip forms part of their prize package for their individual excellence during the prestigious tournament held at the El-Wak Sports stadium.
Keta Senior High student duo Sedem Tetevi and John Okumoh as well sports master wormi made the trip.
Others include TI Ahamdiyya’s Rachel Obeng, Esther Asiedu and coach Ahmed Baffoe alongside staff of Rite Multimedia –organizers of the tournament.
It was massive learning experience for the players and officials who engaged their counterpart from South Africa on a number of far-reaching positive inclinations between the two countries.
UPAC warm-up fiesta
Giants Accra Polytechnic won the UPAC warm-up Basketball Championship when they defeated the University of Ghana in November.
Parading a second string side, the Tudu-based institutions underlined yet another potential to be kings at the tertiary level by putting together a solid display to beat the host in front of their home fans at the centre court of the country’s Premier University.
Accra Polytechnic accounted for Central University in their opening encounter before the University of Ghana crushed the University of Professional Studies in a blow-out game.
The final game between the two rivals was a sight to watch as the host gave the defending champions a good run for their money. They fought gallantly and only lost by six points in a game which has left many wondering if Accra Polytechnic’s dominance is under threat.
The warm-up game attracted huge numbers to the venue with the home fans defying their impending exams to support their team.
The year 2014 was an exciting one albeit its challenges but the 2015 basketball calendar year promises to be fireworks.