BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
ST George’s College’s basketball team is basking in glory after enjoying a successful tour of South Africa where they won the 2019 edition of the St Stithians College Basketball U17 tournament in Johannesburg, last weekend.
The prestigious St Stithians U16 tournament, which is held annually in Johannesburg, attracts the best basketball playing schools from South Africa and neighbouring countries.
This year’s edition of the event that ran from February 17-19 saw 24 school teams take part in the third instalment of the tournament.
St George’s put up an exceptional performance in the final, coming back from being down in the first three quarters to clinch the 44-43 win against Kearsney College in Lyme Park.
“It’s an amazing feeling to have won the cup against highly-rated schools in South Africa. It’s such a big achievement and it shows that our standard is up there with some of the best basketball playing schools in the region,” St George’s basketball committee chairman Tobias Musariri told StandardSport.
“”It’s not the first time that one of our teams has won a tournament in South Africa, but it’s our first in this particular event. It also means that our sport is growing even in terms of subscription at school.
“A lot of students are coming to play basketball and in terms of numbers, the sport is now competing with the traditional popular sports like soccer, rugby and cricket. We expect more numbers after this success.”
St George’s lost once in the eight matches played during the course of the tournament. Ironically, their only defeat in the group stages came against Kearsney, the team they beat in the final.
In the quarter-finals, St George’s beat the hosts St Stithians 31-26 before despatching Maruapula from Botswana 30-27 in the semi-final.
Some of the schools that participated include Clifton School, Enjabulweni School, International School of South Africa, Jeppe High School for Boys, Kearsney College, King Edward VII School and Maritzburg College, to mention but a few.
There were also invited schools from Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.