Wits Basketball, number 1
The mighty Wits Bucks crowned champions of USSA Basketball 2016
Johannesburg – It was a scintillating affair at the recently concluded annual USSA events where a brilliant showing ensured that the mighty Wits Bucks were crowned champions of USSA Basketball 2016. Wits were superb and went relatively unchallenged in their campaign as they ousted former champions VUT 68 – 58 on their way to clinching honours in the A section. The victory was a feather in the cap for the side – which had a bruising 2015 campaign in Fort Hare after suffering disqualification for a minor technical violation.
Tshiamo Ngakane, coach of the Wits Bucks men’s side, sees last year’s heartbreak as the motivation that saw his side negotiate an assault in 2016, “The experience in 2015 was devastating and required leadership to navigate it. “We were disqualified unfairly when we were the favourites of the tournament. The senior players made it their mission to make the following 12 months leading to USSA 2016 about righting those wrongs. But they also knew that in order to do it their leadership would be tested”.
Ngakane also noted the advantage of playing at home as a pivotal instrument for how his side went about their business in this campaign, enabling them to “settle in much quicker than other teams”. The celebrations are expected to last a long time following what can surely be described as a momentous achievement in Wits Basketball history, a feat coach Ngakane vehemently alludes to, “This is the first ever national championship in the history of Wits in the men's section. And there have been good Wits teams that have come up short. It's been a long time coming and will be celebrated for a while to come.” - Tshepiso Mametela
Basketball frenzy at Wits to celebrate women’s month
August is symbolically women’s month and this past week saw a bedazzling women’s-only basketball tournament being held at the Wits University. The Wits Lady Bucks Tournament [as it is known] is an annual basketball showpiece event.
Wits University – August is symbolically women’s month and this past week saw a bedazzling women’s-only basketball tournament being held at the Wits University. The Wits Lady Bucks Tournament [as it is known] is an annual basketball showpiece event that celebrates women in South Africa at large and invites teams from across the continent to compete.
“The tournament is specially hosted for ladies, to celebrate our women in Sport. Most teams participating are academic institutions and some are just people of the public coming together and form a team in order participate in the tournament”, says Ntshembo Vukeya, Basketball Sports Officer at Wits Sport of a tumultuous tournament.
“Very few tournaments comprising women are being held and the university saw a great need to start a tournament of this kind; to support and encourage women to participate in Basketball.” It is the fourth time that the tournament has been held, and like in any previous one, the Wits Ladies would be looking for nothing short of winning it. It was not to be however, being denied early on as they suffered bludgeoning defeats first losing to A Town Ladies 24 – 44 and then 34 – 46 to the Phoenix Flames while a rampant Mozambique U18 side made a resounding claim for the championship as they served up win after win – recording a thumping 91 – 10 victory against Lady Jazz in the process.
In the end, Mozambique U18 came up as deserved winners beating V&J 66 – 47 in the first division final. The hosts may have drawn a short straw by not doing enough to win the tournament, yet with women’s month still in full swing, all the female teams that competed are inherently winners.