The Gambia international basketballer, Pierre Jallow, has revealed that the country is capable of producing great basketballers that can compete in top European leagues in the near future if the present raw talents at hand are well nurtured.
Jallow described aspiring Gambian basketballers as rough diamonds that only need to be furnished. The former Saint Augustine High School student made these remarks shortly after his former school beat SOS Senior Secondary School 36-26 to emerge as champions of the inter-senior secondary schools basketball tournament on Thursday, at the Independence Stadium.
The eight-team tournament, which was meant to revive the trade of basketball in the school system, was organized by Pierre Jallows new foundation Scholar Athlete for Change (SAC) in collaboration with the Gambia Secondary School Sports Association with supports from Trust Bank Limited and YMCA.
I am very happy with the great excitement the tournament had generated amongst the schools," Jallow told Observer Sports shortly after the final whistle. "It tells me that Gambian youngsters are not only interested in basketball, but they also want to be part of the sport and its up to us to help them grow."
"The Gambia has a talent to play every sport and at any level; it only depends on how we nurture these talents to make them grow," he said.
Pleased with the level of excitement and participation in the maiden competition, Jallow said, he and his team will ensure the event is organized annually in a bid to create a platform where Gambia would produce more Pierre Jallows.
As champions in the mid-week final, Saint Augustine's walked away with a giant trophy and a cash prize of D10, 000, while SOS consoled themselves with a cash prize of D6, 000. Saint Peter's Senior Secondary School, who earlier beat Kotu to clinch the third place, received a cash reward of D4, 000. Saint Augustine's Omar Sanneh was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, while the Most Discipline Team award went to Saint Peter's. All the participating schools were given two new basketballs each as well as certificates of participation.
Author: Nanama Keita