IN PICTURES: St Johns host cracking final at Wembley Indoor Stadium


St John’s College hosted their 11th annual basketball tournament from 1 to 4 March.

Tournament director Ngoza Mazarura said, “The tournament went really well this year, and there’s a definite growth in the quality of basketball. We added an U13

section which saw 10 junior teams playing which was quite amazing.”

The tournament also saw 22 senior teams take part, with the tournament hosting 32 teams overall from over six different countries.

On the importance of the tournament, Mazarura added, “What we’re seeing is certainly a growth in basketball culture. Schools are starting to hire professional coaches to train their players.”

She added, “The tournament has always, like St John’s College, is all about development. And with the growth of the sport, parents are getting involved much earlier.”

The tournament held its finals on 4 March at the Wembley Indoor Stadium in Turffontein with highlights including the U13 and U19 finals played alongside the University of the Witwatersrand and University of Johannesburg exhibition match.

Mazarura said that when the crowd watched the exhibition match, many could notice at least nine players who had previously played in the St John’s College tournament.

The important match-ups took place on 4 March, with the U13 and U19 finals. The U13 finals was a close match-up between Soweto Academy Juniors and St Benedicts Preparatory School who gave their all. The Soweto Academy Juniors began strongly with the scoreboard opening with a two-point jump made by Nkosinathi Masina. The first period ended with the Soweto boys leading 8–1. After numerous substitutions and a hard game from St Benedicts, the Soweto Academy Juniors clinched the final with a score of 27–15.

In the U19 match between Mozambiquan side Lazio Basket School and Sandton-based St Stithians it was a close call. Lazio Basket School played catch up in the first and second period with St Stithians, but the Mozambiquan side powered through the game with Heton Bem scoring a staggering 20 points to end the game at 81–50 following an amazing turnaround and being crowned champions.


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By Andrei van Wyk

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