Cinderella Ballin'

8:41 PM Theophilus Mensah 5 Comments

The 18th edition of the FIBA Africa's AfroBasket U18 starts tomorrow in Maputo, Mozambique. Ghana's getting representation for the first time at the continental level. As much as a few members of the GBBA are working relentlessly to make this trip happen, there's no denying the fact that we (fans and persons close to the team) do not and cannot expect so much from this Ghana Squad of 9. The odds against us are just undeniable and any positive outcome will certainly be a fairy tale at best.


The team that represented Ghana in Abidjan has changed in many ways. First was the coaching staff that was hit with the quitting of the head coach, Daniel Sesu who with the help of Edmundo and Seth Okine had built the boys into a fine team. Stories abound as to what was the cause of his decision to quit. It has been mainly alleged that a misunderstanding between him and the technical director of the GBBA, Iddrisu Gamel played a vital role in his decision. Assistant coach of the Braves, Seth Okine was appointed to fill the vacancy with the shortest of notices that one could imagine. His workings with the team has been difficult. He has sited the short time span available for preparation as his main hurdle, which has made it difficult to implement much of his own tactics, and have caused him to continue with Sesu's systems.

The playing body was not left out of the ''quitting/MIA'' party. Tundey El Alawa and Julian Morgan will not be available for the Maputo trip. I think El Alawa's absence will give this Ghanaian team problems at the PG spot. His ability to attack defenses and take lanes will be missed. His role was vital even though he came from the bench as a backup. No one can forget his 12 point explosion in under 6 minutes in Ghana's second match against Liberia during the qualifiers in Abidjan. With the absence of Tundey and Morgan, Jibril Musa was chosen to fill one of the spots. As much as there could be talk of the non availability of a large pool of talent to choose from, pin pointing what Jibril brings to the team is a hard task even for me, who has seen him develop as a player.

Another problem facing this team is injuries. Suleman Abubakar(Big Time) has not been fully involved in practice for a couple of days because of a knee injury. Steven Foster Gadu, one of the teams best rebound grabbers also sprained his ankle over the weekend during a practice game and the captain of the team himself, Abdulmutalib reported into practice this morning with a headache.

Another major problem that faced this team with during preparation was the lack of a residential camp. When kids are commuting for hours on a daily basis to a national team practice, it definitely does raise concerns. The stress of traveling through Accra everyday takes its toll on anybody, not to talk of people who have had to go through several hours of basketball practice outdoors on a concrete court. Coach Okine mentioned this morning, that as a result of the lack of camping, he cannot expect much from these guys even if excuses made for lack of punctuality are not realistic. These guys have already sacrificed so much to get to this level, he added.

I would be ever willing to bet with any person as to whether the sports ministry knows anything about this Maputo trip. The general lack of interest in basketball by the nation's sport leadership is heartbreaking and discouraging for young players and anybody involved with basketball in Ghana. Especially at this time for this group of young men and what they have achieved in the name of and for Ghana. For any kid to go back home from a  national team practice or trip with not even jerseys to prove him being part of the team is just unheard of. The amount of attention and care provided  for other sports makes the effort this team, their coaches and the GBBA put in on a daily basis look like child's play. If for nothing at all this group of young men should be made to feel like the heroes they are.

follow the writer on twitter @ofoli_kwei


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5 comments:

  1. Shit makes me wanna shed a tear.....!!!!

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  2. Oseyyyy team ghana

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  3. chaley e hard oh but we will get there someday

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