The third annual All Star basketball weekend that took place this past weekend at the UB basketball courts thrilled the crowd in attendance. The games, which marked the beginning of the second half of the basketball association league, attracted scores of youth who came to witness basketball stars as well as the media fraternity and local celebrities go head to head.
Kicking off the weekend on Friday the 23rd was a friendly game between Gazette Heat and Yarona FM which saw the two media teams battle it out in an exciting match. Gazette Heat emerged victorious with a close 16-14 win. Following that game was a tough battle between Gold Stars and Diamond Stars ladies which saw the Diamond Stars beat Gold Stars 37-34. The next day on Saturday the 24th, team Yarona FM went against local celebrities’ team where the celebrities beat the radio team 18-16. The next and final match was between the men’s Rising Stars and Super Stars where the young rising basketball stars thrashed their older and more experienced counterparts with a 47-44 win.
The organizer of the event Thandi Tumelo told Gazette Sport that the whole point of the All Star games is to raise awareness about the sport as well as build it. “Compared to the two previous years, this year we had sponsors such as Yarona FM, Beemark Sports and Clubs entertainment basketball. Usually when people hear the term sponsors, they think money but that is not the case. None of our sponsors brought in money. They provided what they already had. The main objective was to try and get partners that see our vision, as well as to showcase the spirit of working together in sports.”
The music and entertainment that was provided by Yarona FM Djs Kops, La Timmy and others had the crowd going wild with excitement, making for a pleasurable gaming experience for both the players and the fans. DJ La Timmy played hip hop, R&B and kwaito mix, while Dj Kops served the crowd a hot mix of smooth and soulful house jams.
“People enjoyed the games, they had fun and that is all that matters. The turnout was amazing. We were expecting a big crowd but the numbers exceeded our expectations. The place was so packed that so many things could have gone wrong, but thank goodness there was no misbehaving from the crowd, none that we are aware of anyway. So yes, it was all good and next year it will be even better. We plan on using the All Star games as a platform to roll out a program called the Smurf Streetball Kids where basketball will be used to rehabilitate street kids, orphans as well as disadvantaged kids,” said Tumelo.