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.
Nigerian-born junior middleweight boxer, Wale Omotoso won his first belt in America when he knocked out Brooklyn-born Curtis Stevens in the 3rd round of their scheduled 10 round fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The Nigerian pugilist floored his opponent in each round and brutally cut Stevens down in the 3rd round, forcing the referee to stop the fight. Wale Omotoshos now has a 28-4, 22 KOs, 1 NC fight record.
Prince Tega Wanogho wants to tell you about his pet giraffe. His name is Bobo. He’s about 20 feet tall, and he’s still growing.
And before you ask, no, he isn’t actually real, but Wanogho wants you to believe he is. It’s something that Auburn’s preseason first-team All-SEC left tackle leans into, playing off the misconceptions of his native home, Nigeria, and it helps shed some light on what life has been like for him since emigrating to the United State five years ago.
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.
Rhonex Kipruto has ran the fastest 10km on American soil and wowed his coaches and competitors. So what makes him stand out in a country ripe with running talent?
By Adharanand Finn
Identifying the next big running star in Kenya, from the country’s incredible wealth of raw, hungry talent, is no easy thing. But for coach Ian Kiprono, a then 15-year-old Rhonex Kipruto stood out even as a scrawny, barefoot kid in a cross-country race a few years ago.
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.
She hadn’t thought America would be so lonely. At 16 and with dreams of playing basketball and furthering her education, Yacine Diop said goodbye to her family and left Senegal for the first time. She arrived in the U.S. not speaking English, unable to communicate with her peers and cut off from the life she had always known.
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.
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.