Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Basketball body honours players

Tanzania’s fast-rising basketball player Jesca

Tanzania’s fast-rising basketball player Jesca Ngaise (right) and NBA star Didier Mbenga, a Belgian-Congolese professional basketballer, pose for a photo at JMK Youth Park in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. PHOTO| BROWN MSYANI. 

By Brown Msyani @TheCitizenTz

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s fast-rising basketball players Jesca Ngaise and Baraka Sadiki have won the respective female and male best player of the year accolades.

Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) named them the finest players of the just concluded 2017 season at a brief but colourful ceremony at JMK Park on Tuesday.

Ngaise and Sadiki won many awards, including the Most Valuable Players (MVP) honours, in various competitions organised by the federation last year.

The two players have contributed much to their respective teams’ victories and titles in major domestic championships, including those staged by Dar es Salaam Basketball (DB). Sadiki was named the MVP in the Super Cup Championship. The tournament, which took place in the city a few months ago, was organised by DB.

In the Super Cup final, the gifted player steered JKT to a 78-58 win against Oilers at the National Indoor Stadium. The tournament drew top six teams from the Regional Basketball League (RBA).

Sadiki went on to become the best scorer of the 2017 National Basketball League (NBL).

Two or so months ago, he featured for Jeshi Stars in the East African Military Games in Bujumbura, Burundi, where he enabled the army side claim the title.

On the women’s discipline, the national basketball governing body named Ngaise the best lady player of the year.

Ngaise, according to the TBF assistant secretary general, Manase Zablon, had the best season last year despite her tender age.

The player was named the Most Valuable Player in NBA Junior tournament for Secondary School players at JMK Youth Park.

“On behalf of the TBF, our congratulations to Ngaise and Sadiki on being voted the finest players of the Year,” Zablon said yesterday.

“With four remarkable wins and her season-long consistency that resulted in the NBA Junior tournament MVP honour, Ngaise is a deserving winner of TBF Player of the Year,” he said.

“We also salute her excellence off the court, as she is one of the many young stars that have been tremendous TBF ambassadors this year,” he added.

Ngaise has also won a chance to attend the National Basketball Association (NBA) international basketball training in South Africa.

This is the first time for Tanzania to be represented by a female basketball player in the clinic.

Speaking at the ceremony, Ngaise said she was very happy to secure the opportunity, noting that it would give her the much needed international exposure.

Ngaise, a Form Four student at Juhudi Secondary School in the city, thanked all who scouted and inspired her to get involved in the sport.