Fans and lovers of basketball in South Sudan have welcomed their men’s side after they made history by qualifying for this year’s World Cup – becoming the first African nation to qualify at their first attempt.
Many of the national basketball players, are mostly from diaspora. But to improve the home’s recruitment, South Sudan has started to train young people in the country with the aim of changing the future of the sport in the East African youngest nation. ”
My dream, I want to be the best player. I want to be Luol Deng and I play one day to make South Sudan proud.” Muor Kuol Muor a 19 year old at the Luol Deng Academy said.
For Samuel Manyiel Bol, 25, who is playing at National Engineer Basketball team in Juba, there is need to have a fully equipped court.
The victory has also inspired more young players to join the basketball training across the country. Bushara Rajab Rizik, is a secretary for coaches in Juba’s capital of South Sudan.
“This is in our blood, basketball is in our blood. This is belongings to American but is in our blood, when you see our boys, is difference, they played like the people in America, Europe because we enjoys basketball like a life, not like something else, no.” “Our future is basketball, now Luol Deng made difference to change the sort of the government to see what happens in basketball.”
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There are now 12 basketball teams and 4 basketball academy in Juba’s capital of South Sudan, with 6 basketball courts but they are not well-equiped, only three are functionning.