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Excitement peaking for the Soweto Basketball Uprising Tournament

By Siya Pongco , in Basketball | Featured Basketball | News , at 2024-06-13 Tags:

The Soweto Basketball Academy hosts the Soweto Basketball Uprising Tournament, the largest basketball tournament in the southern region of Johannesburg, and one of the largest in South Africa, from Friday.

The tournament has been organised in memory of the 16 June 1976 Soweto Uprising.

It takes place at the Jabavu Basketball Centre, the Klipspruit Sports Centre, and the Morrison Isaacson High School in Soweto, and runs from 14 to 17 June.

Morris Isaacson High School is the most famous school in Soweto, renowned for its history and alumni. It’s located where the Soweto Uprising of 1976 began, and it is the only school in Soweto with indoor and outdoor basketball courts.

The Soweto Basketball Centre is an iconic basketball facility and was one of the first to be built in the township. It is situated along the route of the 16 March 1976 Soweto Uprising march and is a stone’s throw away from Morris Isaacson High School.

With an indoor court and two outdoor courts, the Klipspruit Sports Centre is a state-of-the-art sports facility, which has grown to become the number one choice for elite basketball games in Johannesburg

Monwabisi Dlamini, the founder of the Soweto Basketball Academy, commented: “Basketball has become the most rapidly expanding sport in townships, urban areas, and private schools, guaranteeing a generation that loves basketball.”

In a recent press statement, he said the event’s goal was not only to serve as a tournament but to transform it into a festival featuring performances and entertainment by top South African artists.

The event also includes basketball awards, NBA2K stalls, basketball movie screenings, food stalls, and more.

Dlamini said the 2023 edition of the tournament was the largest yet, with sponsorships from Puma and the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture.

Last year’s coverage of the tournament was provided by streamers, including SuperSport Schools and Soweto TV, and NBA Africa also backed the event, too.

“We wish to see our 2024 edition bigger and much better than all the previous ones,” he said.

“We wish to grow our tournament to attract all the best u14 and u18 basketball teams in South Africa, and international teams to come play and compete for the ultimate championship. We believe that this tournament has the potential to be the biggest tournament in Africa,” Dlamini wrote in a recent press statement.

The partners of the 2024 Soweto Basketball Uprising Tournament include Puma, Jr. NBA, the Johannesburg Basketball Association and the City of Joburg

Puma has been the technical sponsor of the past three Soweto Basketball Uprising tournaments, and they serve as a primary partner for the festival this year.

Another welcome partner is the Jr NBA League, Dlamini said: “We will be partnering with the Jr NBA League for yet another 16 June Basketball Clinic. We have hosted this clinic with NBA Africa for the past two years in Soweto.”

Dlamini also said he was thankful for the support of the Johannesburg Basketball Association. “We have been granted endorsement by the Johannesburg Basketball Association, which is the mother body for basketball in our region,” Dlamini said. “This endorsement gives us the confidence that our festival is approved by the association.”

He also thanked the City of Johannesburg for their backing. “We have had a great relationship with the City of Johannesburg with our programme. They have committed to assisting us with our Joint Operation Committee application and will also be giving us Klipspruit Sports Centre for the festival duration,” Dlamini said.

Tournament Format

“Our festival will start on Friday the 14th of June, where we will be having an official tournament opening ceremony. This opening will be done through a dance spectacle for the spectators and then followed by a welcoming ceremony.

“Thereafter the Soweto Basketball Academy will play opening games for both boys’ and girls’ u18. Games will continue from 15 June.”

Dlamini wrote: “On the 16th of June we will have a basketball clinic in the morning for all of our u14 Jr NBA players.

He continued: “Our u14 category will host a total of 32 teams (16 boys’ and 16 girls’ teams). With this category, the format will be a knockout, where each team will play to make it to the next round, until we get to the final and crown a champion.

“Our u18 category will host a total of 32 teams (16 girls’ and 16 boys’ teams),” he added. 

Special Awards – Soweto Basketball Lifetime Achievement Award

Dlamini also spoke about the Soweto Basketball Lifetime Achievement Award, which honours those who have played an active role in growing basketball in South Africa.

Dlamini said: “In the past year we have honoured three legends, namely Mr Jackie Masenya, Ms Nonhlanhla Sithole and Mr Henry Nkosi.

“This year will not be any different as we will be honoring more basketball legends. This award is, in fact, the very first of its kind for South African basketball, and we strongly believe that this is an extremely important part of our festival.”

Boys’ u18 (Tsietsi Mashinini Conference)

Group A

Soweto Basketball Academy
Montana Vikings
Next Level
MSD Wolves
Ignite Academy

Group B

Kings Academy
Jozi Stars
Katlehong Bulls
Mangaung Knights
Moletsane Kings

Girls’ u18 (Winnie Mandela Conference)

Group A

Soweto Basketball Academy
Katlehong Bulls
Mangaung Knights
Basketball Cougars

Group B

Alex Basketball Academy
Kings Academy
Soweto Rising Owl
MSD Wolves

Siya Pongco