International basketball in Mafikeng

16 April 2019 | Education

On Friday, 22 March five girls and ten boys, all learners from Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS), got up very early, despite the school calendar’s promise of a long weekend on the occasion of the Namibia’s Independence Day celebrations.

Accompanied by their coach and teacher Melusi Linda, one DHPS boys’ and one girls’ team flew to South Africa to participate in an International basketball tournament held at the International School South Africa (ISSA). This tournament is organised for teams in the under-19 category.

However, both DHPS teams were much younger, with four out of five girls (Ashley Linda, Operi Tjingaete, Saskia Krüger and Helen Ndongala) still in the u-14 category.

From Johannesburg airport, the team had to take a four-hour bus ride to the venue. Arriving at ISSA, both teams checked into their rooms on the school's boarding school premises.

On Friday, the boys’ team had to compete in two games. The boys, with captain Ebben Shatipamba, had their first encounter with the host team and lost 23-34. Despite their 27-38 defeat against the tournament winner, Michael Mount Waldorf School, in their second game, the DHPS players played a far better game compared to their first appearance.

The girls also competed in two games on Friday. They lost 23-33 against the Norkem team and then defeated the hosts after an exciting and well-balanced game with 17-16. On Saturday, DHPS celebrated a great victory against Lebone. The girls safely won 30-16, which marked their entry into the quarterfinals. They won their quarterfinal match against Bishop Bavin 26-24, because the opponents had underestimated our still very young but dedicated players. This signalled the team’s entry into the semi-finals, which no other DHPS team had ever reached before. Captain Silke Redecker - like coach Linda - were really proud of their team.

During the semi-final, the girls played against the final winner, the very experienced Michael Mount Waldorf School team.

Of course they had a close look at our players the day before and so Michael Mount countered the dribbling skills and fast pace of our girls effectively. After their defeat, the DHPS team had the opportunity to fight for third place, which meant a second encounter with the Norkem team. Unfortunately, Ashley had injured herself in the semi-final, so our team was clearly weakened for this match.

The players still fought relentlessly, but too many games without substitutes ultimately took their toll and the DHPS team finished fourth. They also received a small trophy for most disciplined team and Ashley was chosen for the All-Star Team - another achievement that no DHPS player had ever achieved before in an ISSA tournament.

Our boys earned the trophy for the best-dressed team for their jerseys, which really made a positive impression in South Africa. Thank you to coach Lina, who sacrificed his long weekend to the benefit of the learners and his team.

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