Why sky is the limit for basketball prodigy Jesca

Thursday August 9 2018


By Brown Msyani @TheCitizenTz bmsyani@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania’s basketball sensation Jesca Ngaise won plaudits at a sports clinic dubbed ‘Basketball Without Borders,’ which took place in South Africa recently.

Jesca participated in the clinic alongside a host of up-and-coming basketballers from around the African continent, including her compatriot Atiki Ally.

A section of players who feature for the United States National Basketball Association (NBA) League conducted the clinic.

Jesca won many a heart, including the NBA League players, for her impressive skills during the training, according to Tanzanian Coach Bahati Mgunda.

Mgunda – who accompanied the two players to South Africa – said Jesca’s performance prompted the NBA League players to include her in the clinic’s ‘All Stars’ match.

Mgunda served as an assistant to the NBA League players during the clinic.

“I feel honoured to serve as an assistant coach in the clinic,” he said.

“I also had been an assistant coach during the clinic that took place in Senegal a few years ago,” he added.

The coach further said that the Tanzania player’s success in the clinic was down to his experience in the sport.

For his part, Ally disclosed that it was the first time for him to participate in the clinic.

He said his performance has improved tremendously after the training.

Jesca was participating the South Africa clinic for the second time.

“Jesca’s impressive performance in this year’s clinic is a plus for Tanzania,” Mgunda said.

“It should be noted that she is the country’s first female player to have attended the training.”

Over 80 young players from across Africa took part in the clinic. Fifty of them were boys and the rest were girls.

Jesca said she dreams of turning into a prominent world player in the foreseeable future.

Her selection for the ‘Basketball-without-Borders’ clinic has began to turn her dream into reality, she disclosed.

“I will not rest on my laurels. I will always listen to my coaches’ advice, as well as advice offered by experienced players so that I can fulfill my ambition to play in the US,” Jessica said.

The gifted player – who plays for Ukonga Queens in the Dar es Salaam Regional Basketball League – is one of the players who are performing well in the league on a regular basis.

Commenting on the matter, the Tanzania Basketball Federation (TBF) president, Phares Magesa, disclosed that players who excel in the Basketball-without-Borders clinic will secure the opportunity to attend training at either the NBA Academy, or any one of the colleges that take part in the US NCAA League.

He said the TBF officials talked to the NBA League officials on how best to promote the sport in Tanzania.

improve relationships between the two national bodies, as well as promoting the sport in Tanzania.