Wits basketball powers home in home stretch


Congratulations are in order for Wits Basketball as both the men’s and women’s teams put in dominant performances to power over the line in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) event finals held at Stellenbosch University on 7 July.

After going unbeaten in the five games played up to the final, the Wits men’s side, the Horny Bucks, made light work of University of KwaZulu-Natal by casting them aside 63–53 in the final and retaining the title won last year.

The women’s outfit, the Wits Lady Bucks, maintained an equally impressive streak to get one over last year’s winners, Vaal University of Technology in a repeat final. The team put in an inspired performance to beat the defending champions 52–42.

“I owe this year’s success to the hard work that all the players put in,” said Lady Buck’s coach Willie Matlakala. “From the beginning of the year, players were committed and knew what they wanted to achieve. Having learnt the lesson of losing a final last year, we went into the game confident that we were going to breeze through this time around.”

The Lady Bucks have now won two out of four finals in consecutive appearances following their success of 2014.

Two Witsies, Modiegi Mokoka and Fortunate Bodega, who both play as point guards, received due recognition for their astounding performances during the week-long tournament. Mokoka earned the nod for the coveted Most Valuable Player award while Bodega was selected for the UUSSAwomen’s basketball All Star team.

Meanwhile, the USSA men’s All Star team were graced with the names of Wits men’s point guard Angelo Quinn and power forward Miguel Ferroar. “The men’s side had a very strong team. The stats and the qualifiers definitely meant that they were going to defend the championship,” said Wits Basketball sports officer Ntshembo Vukeya. “The players did great with all the players getting a chance to shine.”

Head of sport at Wits Sport Adrian Carter said the achievements recorded by Wits Basketball would be remembered for a long time.

“A special week of USSA tournaments came to an end with many highlights. History was made by our Witsie basketball men and women who are national champions,” said Carter. “This was the stand out performance of the USSA week, and be rest assured that these achievements will be celebrated for a long time.”

USSA basketball chairperson Frans Mamabolo added that the tournament was a huge success. “All 32 teams that registered to compete made it. The tournament had 16 women’s teams and 16 men’s teams and each of those teams impressively rose to the occasion,” said Mamabolo. “We look forward to what next year’s tournament holds in store.”

Read: Wits cap off nail-biting USSA week

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Tshepiso Mametela

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