Imagine a young basketball aspirant from an impoverished community going to a Cape Town Tigers basketball club training session and see a National Basketball Association (NBA) player like Ben Uzoh train.
Montana Vikings Basketball Club have demonstrated their dominance of the Cape Town Basketball Association (CTBA) leagues this season, winning at least seven of the 11 divisions on offer.
The Vikings took home both Super League titles in men and ladies divisions; were crowned as champions in the Under 18 girls and boys sections; won the Under 12 girls and boys leagues; and finished top of the Under 16 boys’ league.
In the last match of the season, the Vikings Super League side for men beat CPUT (Cape Peninsula University of Technology) Alumni Cats by 13 points (78-65) in a highly entertaining encounter at Gugulethu Sport Complex.
Vikings head coach for the men super league team, Craig Daniels, was delighted with his club’s victory, and said what worked for them was that their training programs were focused on individual skills and physical development. “Even though we had seven guys for this game, they were fit and were able to last the whole game. You could see that they were getting tired, but the work they put in during the course of the season helped us to get through today”.
Vikings will participate in a tournament in Johannesburg early next year “and need to show that we are better even outside the Cape Town borders”.
Nathan Coetzee, Chairperson of the CTBA, congratulated all the winners and saluted all the participants – clubs, administrators, officials, coaches and players – for making 2019 a memorable season in the local basketball. He said the season was very challenging, with few resignations from the executive last year, but everything went according to plan.
“We played more games this year than any other season, and it was a huge success. We received quite a lot of support and, with the establishment of the Western Cape Basketball Association recently, we are very excited because now we have all the necessary structures to secure more funding and get government support”.
With a professional basketball league planned for Africa next year, Coetzee said he hoped that, with the right structures in place, a franchise would be established in Cape Town “because there is a lot of talent here.”
Cape at 6 Sport