Basketball league winners feted

Basketball league winners feted
Trophies awarded to various winners of Deng Academy Development League. [Photo: Alex Bullen]

The Deng Academy Development League wrapped up with the crowning of five league champions who bagged trophies.

The basketball development leagues, comprising U21, U18, and U14 for both sexes, were introduced last August for various age brackets. The league’s three-month run came to an end in December 2022.

There are five different development leagues: Manute Bol “B,” Mini’s Development League, Luol Deng’s development league, HER development league, and Manute Bol’s development league.

Each league included ten clubs, which played a total of 20 games. The league with the most points was declared the winner.

Team Aluk took first place in the Manute “B” Development League, with Team Akop and Wanjuk coming in second and third.

Meanwhile, in the Mini Development League, Wakella was crowned champion, with team Peper finishing as runners-up and Atum ending the tournament in third place. Elsewhere, Wakella won the development league for Mini, with Team Peper coming in second and Atum placing third.

In related developments, Wankay won the, Luol Deng Development League (LDDL), with Nasir coming in second and team Apada getting the third spot. Team Aryo won the “Her” Development League, team Awada finished second, and team Kodok rounded out the top three.

Additionally, Mayom wins the Manute Bol Development League, followed by Akon and Jambu in that order.

The winners of the “HER” league Awada, Mini’s league Wakella, Manute Bol “B” league Aluk, and LDDL Wankay competitions received awards for the finest team spirit.

Other honors include Most Improved Player (Achan Michael), Most Disciplined Player (Emmanuella Francis), Best Guards (Mary Emmanuel, Olivia Dokia, and Akeer Abraham), Best Defender (Akeer Abraham), and Best Center (Nana Joseph). Josphine Leju was named the most spirited player in the girls’ league, and Fiona Richard was named MVP.

The academy also gave away 20 laptops to the top-performing students, which were provided by Kush Bank South Sudan.

“I felt joyful; I feel better today; I never thought that was improving day and night, but overall, I thank the academy for altering my life alongside many other colleagues,” One of the top defenders in the “HER” league, Nana Alfred, expressed.

“Basketball means a lot to me now; it’s just not what I thought it would before, and it goes beyond what others think,” the player said. In addition to uniting us and educating me in numerous ways, basketball has most crucially changed my life, she continued.

Top government officials, diplomats, academics, business partners, and basketball lovers from all across Juba attended the award ceremony.