In 2015, for the first time in over 10 years I followed the Greater Accra Basketball Season from start to finish. This included the Men’s Divisions 1 & 2 as well as the women’s league.
Getting back to the game previously played competitively, I did not know what to expect. I was hoping at the very least the game, organization and the entire experience would be much better than it was in the 90s. Were my expectations met? Yes in many aspects but overall, it was a big NO.
First of all, let’s start with the Division One games. There were a number of impressive games. There is a lot more height in the league now and some of the so called big guys are pretty talented. Take Romeo who plays for Braves for example. He is as comfortable taking 3 pointers as any guard in the league. I also found there were several other relatively big guys who were comfortable or adept at handling the basketball.
A lot of the games were predictable. Braves have not lost a local match in a very long time. After 12 or so consecutive league titles, it is getting boring watching them thrash every team in the league.
Most impressive team for me was the Fire Service. No real big men just a bunch of 6’3’’ ish guys who can all dribble and shoot the basketball. Fact of the matter is that they hustle real hard.
Interesting moments when OSK’s only win came against League leaders at the time Tema Youth who for some reason were hardly able to suit up their best players in every game. They were almost always shorthanded.
Second division – The second division was fun to watch. Mainly because the games were not as predictable as Division One. All the games were up for grabs and each team had to bring it each weekend to guarantee themselves a win. The games in the division could be described as having high energy but lacking fundamentals. Shooting was poor, turnovers were in abundance. I was not surprised DC Dynamics won the title eventually. They have a coach who is in charge – in tune with the game and calls plays right to the death. He probably is the only coach as saw actively communicating with his team throughout the game.
Women Basketball – There were two good teams in 2015. CEPS and Galaxy. The rest only had good individual skill. Overall however there is some good skill in Ghana Women’s Basketball today. We should be able to put out a good National team that can compete at least in the sub region.
My biggest disappointment by the way had nothing to do with the game itself. The facilities as well as organization for me were a major issue.
Lebanon House the hub of Ghana Basketball is in terrible shape. The court is uneven, measurements are not right and the stands well.. the less said the better. Whilst I appreciate the efforts of the Greater Accra Basketball Association in putting the 2015 league together, I found that there were too many schedule changes. Some of the changes occurred without appropriate notice to the teams resulting in several sticky situations.
Whilst the Greater Accra League remains Ghana’s flagship competition, several other competitions have gained prominence. I was at the University of Ghana to watch the UPAC finals and I must say that game was a great advertisement for Ghana Basketball.
The atmosphere at the Community Games at Accra Polytechnic was brilliant. Hopefully organizers will be able to repeat same in 2016.
In September, After 7 Basketball Club’s Annual Afahye Tournament took place in Cape Coast. Sponsored by Promasidor, the tournament brought scores of players from at least 5 regions together.
Dynasty Basketball Association hosted an NBA sanctioned 3 on 3 competition. Certainly a great initiative from DBA. I expect this will be repeated in 2016 in a much bigger way.
2016 should be a good year for Ghana Basketball. The first tournament of the year – Spriteball ended last week. Congratulations to eventual winners St Augustine’s College and Aggrey Memorial in the boys and girls competitions respectively.