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Up-Country Basketball Tourney in weekend kickoff

By Richard Manubah
Deputy Sports Minister, Dionysius Sebwe
Deputy Sports Minister, Dionysius Sebwe

(mylbsonline.com/Liberia/Nov. 22/2013) Gbarnga City will host this year’s edition of the Up-Country National Basketball Championship.

Gbarnga City is the provincial capital of Bong, Liberia’s Central Regional County.

Organizers say the action will get going this weekend amongst secondary school teams.

The competition was introduced to the Liberian sporting scene by a team of US Peace Corps volunteers.

It was famous in the West African Country [Liberia] some years back, as it was a talent-hunt event for top-notch basketball teams participating in the National Club Championships in Monrovia.

Under the administration of Tornolah Varpilah as Youth and Sports Minister, the Liberian Government partnered with the Liberia Basketball Association’s Leadership to re-launch the event.

The re-launch is credited to Dr. Harold McGowan, a legendary Peace Corps volunteer who inaugurated the tournament about 3 decades ago.

For this year’s event, eleven schools are selected from six counties [political sub-divisions] to compete for the top prize being held by St. Martin.

St. Martin is holder of the title after beating Ganta United Methodist last year to land the gigantic trophy.

Counties, whose schools are poised for participation in the tournament include, Lofa, Grand Gedeh, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Nimba and Bong.

The William V.S Tubman Gray United Methodist High School Gymnasium will play host to the games over a two-day period.

The participating schools are placed in four groups, as follow:

1. Group A
• Suah Memorial (Grand Gedeh),
• Booker Washington Institute (Margibi);
• Zorzor Central High (Lofa).

2. Group B
• Ganta United Methodist (Nimba)
• Bishop Juwle (Grand Gedeh); and
• Gboveh high school (Bong)

3. Group C
• William V.S Tubman Gray (tournament’s host/Bong)
• St. Martin (2012 winners & defending Champions /Bong);
• St. Mary (Nimba); and

4. Group D
• Voinjama Multilateral High (Lofa); and
• W.L Brumskine High School Grand Bassa).


The Up-Country Basketball National Championship aims to promote sports in rural community schools, where players have little or no opportunity of participating in the National Club Championships in Monrovia, unless they move over to the Capital.

The Liberian Government, through the Youth and Sports Ministry, provides financial support for the tournament’s organization, while technical support comes from the Liberia Basketball Association.

 


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