Sport & School News
10 October 2023

Rustenburg – A sea of enthusiastic Bafokeng youth come together at Royal Marang in Phokeng on Saturday 30 September 2023, bringing a grand finale to a week-long celebration of the 11th Jr. NBA basketball season. The event was nothing short of spectacular, with six boys’ and girls’ teams emerging as the triumphant champions of the much-anticipated 2023 Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Finals.
In a showcase of sheer talent and determination, Lebone Primary School U14 (Girls), Bonwakgogo Primary School U14 (Boys), HF Tlou Secondary School U16 (Girls), Tshukudu Secondary School U16 (Boys), Kitsong School U18 (Girls), and Lebone II College U18 (Boys) stood tall as champions in their respective primary and secondary school age categories. The final day of the basketball league season saw 12 teams representing nine schools engage in six championship games filled with thrilling moments and impressive displays of sportsmanship.

The day featured special guest appearances by former NBA player and 2015 AfroBasket champion Olumide Oyedeji (Nigeria), captivating acrobatic displays by a U.S. dunk team, and various entertainment acts that kept the atmosphere electric. The event reached its crescendo with energetic music performances by South African artists Focalistic and Robot Boii.

Tebogo Moinwe, the coach of the victorious u/14 boys’ team from Bonwakgogo Primary School, reflected on their well-earned victory, stating, “It was a well-deserved win as we have been preparing and practicing for this for so long.”

The Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme, launched in 2011, has witnessed remarkable growth, with 116 teams representing 44 schools across all five regions of the Royal Bafokeng Nation. Over the past 13 years, it has positively impacted the lives of more than 100,000 individuals through basketball development and youth engagement initiatives.

The Royal Bafokeng Jr. NBA Programme is not just about basketball; it is a powerful vehicle for personal and community growth, offering opportunities for education, development, and international exposure, while instilling a passion for sports and leadership in the youth of Bafokeng. Over 100 former programme participants have gone on to pursue higher education at universities and colleges in South Africa, with two alumni receiving full scholarships to high schools and universities in the United States. 

Demonstrating the programme’s exceptional quality, former head coach Moratiemang Junior Mmoloke joined the coaching team of the Cleveland Cavaliers at the 2023 NBA 2K24 Summer League in Las Vegas, Nevada, last July. He was one of 28 basketball coaches from 17 African countries featured on various NBA teams’ coaching staff as part of the Africa Coaches Programme, showcasing the programme’s global impact and reach.

Photo: The girls’ u/16 teams, Tshukudu Secondary School against HF Tlou Secondary School.

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