IMG 1489 e1561964931283 300x226The WSU women’s basketball team will square up against a Mdantsane-based outfit on Friday 28 June ahead of the upcoming USSA National Basketball Championships set to kick off in Cape Town from 1-5 July.

The Potsdam Site Great Hall will play host to the team’s last warm-up match against the Timberwolves of Mdantsane, an encounter preceded by a bruising battle against WSU’s bitter rivals Rhodes University on Wednesday 26 June.

“This is our second game in as many days in our efforts to adequately prepare for the upcoming tournament. We’ve worked hard in training throughout these school holidays and we believe we’re ready to tackle the best in the country,” said team captain Sandisiwe Mbiza.

Mbiza, a decorated player with provincial colours for the Western Cape at U/16 and U/18s, said the team was aiming to finish in the top eight, a result which would earn them a much-coveted Varsity Sports berth in 2020.

Sibusiso Williams, who’s been coaching the team since 2013, heaped high praise upon the team taking into account the age, lack of tactical awareness and shortage of experience in playing the trade.

“We are building this team and its profile slowly but surely so that it leaves a lasting legacy that will see WSU basketball at the Varsity Sports competition, an achievement that will hopefully see the sport grow exponentially in the institution,” said Williams.

Qualification hasn’t been easy for the squad, with solid competition coming from their counterparts in the shape of NMU, Rhodes and UFH at the Eastern Cape Basketball Association championship which WSU won at Rhodes in April earlier this year.

First-year sports management student Hlumelo Lekker, who hails from Cape Town, said her love for basketball was born when she was introduced to it at school in grade 4.

“I love basketball because it has opened up a lot of doors for me and also kept me out of trouble and away from many unwanted influences. I love the sport because it instils discipline and respect in a person – discipline in life, and respect for one’s self, and for others,” said Lekker.

The team, with a total of 11 females on its roster at the moment, practices daily at the Potsdam Site Great Hall between 15:00 to 17:30.

“We invite everyone who’s interested in playing basketball to come and try out. This is a fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable sport that can open up a lot of doors for the athletes,” said Williams.

The championship will be hosted by the University of Cape Town and will feature 16 teams made up of four groups of four teams. In their group, WSU has been drawn with hosts UCT; Mangosuthu University of Technology and University of KwaZulu Natal.

By: Thando Cezula