Basketball is progressing in Africa and so is the talent of the youth playing it, Refiloe Seiboko reports from Orlando, Florida
Somewhere in the United States, thousands and thousands of kilometres from home, a new generation of basketball players is being ushered in.
The Jr NBA Global Championship tournament which is underway for the second consecutive year in Orlando, Florida, is a youth basketball tournament for the top 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls from around the world. Three-hundred and sixteen teenagers have been competing and the semifinals began on Saturday.
About three weeks ago, Bourama Sidibe and John Bol Ajak were driven to New York City by a Syracuse basketball team manager to secure a visa that would enable them to travel to Italy with their Orange teammates.
Sidibe, a native of the African nation of Mali, carries a 5-year student visa, which enables him to stay in the United States until its expiration date. But to travel anywhere outside the U.S., Sidibe needs to secure a visa. Ajak, who came to America by way of South Sudan and then Kenya, is governed by the immigration laws of South Sudan and his case apparently was complicated by his restrictive immigration status.
CAJoyciline Jepkosgei and Alex Korio, both of Kenya, won 2019 TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race in Cape Elizabeth. Jepkosgei, 25, finished in 31:05, averaging about 5-minute miles. It’s the race’s fastest time since Mary Keitany’s 30:41 course record set in 2017.
Even though he was 6-foot-6 by the time he was 14 years old, when an aspiring basketball star in Senegal picked up a ball for the first time, his friends were skeptical: In this soccer-mad region, why bother with a ball you dunk, when everyone else is kicking?
“My friends thought I was weird in the beginning,” said the young player, Mouhamed Lamine Mbaye, now 18 (and 6-foot-9), as he stood on the court of a new basketball academy, the first to be built by the NBA in West Africa.
Remains undefeated after 11 fights, although this was a much harder test.
By Keith Idec
Ali Eren Demirezen demonstrated Saturday night that Efe Ajagba remains very much a work in progress. The previously unbeaten Turkish heavyweight gave Ajagba the toughest fight of the Nigerian knockout artist’s two-year pro career. Ajagba went the distance for the first time in 11 professional fights and had difficulty dealing with Demirezen’s pressure at times in a fight that seemed more competitive than two of the three scorecards suggested.
Audible Football Camp, a non-profit US organization, will partner with Rabat Pirates, the Moroccan association of American football, to organize the first major American football conference in the country’s history.
The five-day conference will be held from July 12 to July 16, 2019 in Ben Slimane. It will be open to all American football lovers, including people who are already play the sport, as well as to anyone seeking to discover more about it.
Cameroonian heavyweight Francis Ngannou needed just 71 seconds to destroy former heavyweight champion and vaunted striker Junior dos Santos. A clubbing right hand from Ngannou resulted in a broken and visibly shifted nose for dos Santos. He promptly asked to be allowed to challenge for the UFC heavyweight Championship.
Following his win on Dana White’s Contender Series last week, Yorgan De Castro says it’s “very special” to be the first UFC fighter from Cape Verde, Africa.
De Castro joined a growing list of Africans on the UFC roster, including welterweight champion Kamaru Usman, interim titleholder Israel Adesanya, Francis Ngannou, Sodiq Yusuff, Kennedy Nzechukwu, and Don Madge.
The Toronto Raptors are fresh off of winning their first NBA title in franchise history after defeating the Golden State Warriors. However, with that type of success, a team’s assets are coveted by the rest of the league.
There has been wild celebrations all over Canada as Toronto Raptors became the first team from the country to win the NBA finals. Three Africans were pivotal in helping Raptors beat Golden State Warriors in Game 6 to to win the championship for the first time in their history.
Raptors President, Masai Ujiri from Nigeria, Pascal Siakem from Cameroon and Serge Ibaka from Congo DR are among the African contingent that have brought joy to Canada.
South African-born Tayler Scott made history over the weekend when he made his debut for the Seattle Mariners in Major League Baseball (MLB). Scott became the first South African pitcher to appear in an MLB game and the second South African to feature in the prestigious American league after Gift Ngoepe.
Popular culture, including sports, has long been one of America’s most powerful exports. Athletes, in turn, have been influential ambassadors, if not for the U.S. government, then for America writ large. Last week, for the first time in National Basketball Association (NBA) history, the Finals tipped off outside of the United States, in Toronto. While only about two hours away from the U.S. border at Niagara Falls, the NBA has set its sights much farther afield.
Cameroon born Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam, who was recently named a finalist for the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, is focused on helping his team make its first Finals appearance in franchise history.
A man and woman from Kenya have been crowned the winners of the Cleveland Marathon.
Edwin Kamaiyo, 33, made his American racing debut by overtaking two-time champion Philemon Terrer near the 24-mile mark and holding on for victory in the 42nd annual Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. His winning time was 2:22:02.