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Sponsoring tournaments is the best way for any federation to tap into talents within the country or its neighboring nations with the aim of the players to develop their talents and get involved in the National Team.

SSBFED organized a tournament that was held in Nairobi Kenya under the supervision of Mr. Deng Garang Bol

An interview with Mr. Deng Garang Bol one of the coaches in Nairobi Kenya concerning the roles of the South Sudan Basketball Federation, was one to behold as he gave the ins and outs of partnering with such a federation.

Mr. Deng Garang Bol is the founder of Dementor Basketball Academy based in Nairobi Kenya, Mr. Garang founded the DBA in 2020 to enable young South Sudanese to expose their talents.

Being questioned on the role of becoming a coach in the South Sudan game vs Kenyan Morans had this to say “The federation reached out to me a couple of months ago before the game asking to assemble a competitive and good South Sudanese team in Nairobi. The friendly happened so abruptly, the Kenyan Basketball Federation reached out to the South Sudan Basketball Federation and that is how we came to play the game. Our fans really showed up in numbers that day and we learned a lot from that experience.”
Nile citizens correspondent ” Will there be another game of that caliber in the future?”
Mr. Deng “Hopefully this December 2023, something can be organized, and this time we’ll get enough time to prepare for the game.”

SSBFED organized a tournament that was held in Nairobi Kenya under the supervision on Mr. Deng Garang Bol. The tournament is fully sponsored by SSBFED (South Sudan Basketball Federation). The federation is trying to tap into talents not only in Kenya but also around its neighboring countries e.g. Uganda and within South Sudan itself. Sponsoring tournaments is the best way for the federation to tap into talents within the county’s Neighbours with the aim of the players to develop their talents and get involved in the National Team.

Mr. Deng ” Our able Secretary General in SSBFED Dr. Ramadhan Aru, reached out to me and wanted us to hold a tournament, this event will not be possible without the involvement of the federation.” Uganda will also hold a tournament of their own this coming week according to sources. ” We have 12 teams, teams that are spread across Kenya, one in Nakuru, Kikuyu, Eldoret and so on… who came together to compete, learn from each other and showcase their talents. The federation has really helped in the running of today’s event. Ensuring that each team has a jersey is something that has not been done before in Kenya. Trophies that will motivate the players. But the main purpose of this tournament is to connect the talents of the players across East Africa.”

Nile Citizen’s Correspondent ” what does it mean having so many people who have showed up for today’s event?”, Mr. Deng” We as South Sudanese love being around each other, we take pride in our community and show support in all aspects. Having our National Team qualify for the Olympics has given the players a huge motivation and everybody wants to be a part of it, simply because it has been sponsored by the federation has had a huge impact on the fans also who have showed up in large numbers.”

Through Basketball we as a community in Kenya are more connected and united.
Correspondent ” Will we see the team names branded on the jerseys that have participated today being active even after this tournament?” Mr. Deng “The federation did not have team names for us, but you will find that we have a Salaam team that is here, and it is also a club in South Sudan. This implies that we tap into what is happening in South Sudan and finding teams that we can support.”
This shows how the federations is building up good teams within the nation, finding fans who not only keep tabs on their teams while in the country but also outside the country.
Mr. Deng “about 70% of the teams that are participating here are elsewhere in South Sudan.”

The Launch of NBA offices in Nairobi has made a huge impact on basketball players in East Africa. NBA Africa offices in Nairobi means a lot. “This increases the number of chances for Basketball players to be spotted by scouts and be able to have an opportunity to maybe play in the NBA one day.” Kenya is our second home, but this is a win not only for Kenya but also for the whole of Africa. ” When we see the NBA coming closer, we smile even more because we know what it means to us. I am confident that we will have more players in the NBA in the coming years and this will be a win for South Sudan and also the continent. Having the advantage of being tall by itself is not a guarantee that you will automatically make it to the NBA. You need to have certain skills that you have under your arsenal. Wembanyama for example is 7 ft and handles the ball like a guard, this is the next step for us to have our tallest players be able to handle the Basketball and not only get rebounds but also expand their game.”

What are the expectations for South Sudan in the Olympics.
Mr. Deng ” The federation under the leadership of Luol Deng have their eyes set on the prize. If you look at how we qualified for the Olympics we performed well for a team that was making its debut in the fiba world Cup and the players did well. Now ranked first in Africa expectations have now risen, we are shooting and aiming to go beyond the skies.”

Given the Olympics will be held in less than 8 months from now the South Sudan Basketball Federation has already started planning for the event and is looking to not only be a participant in the Olympics but to pose a great threat to other nations that have their eyes on the prize.
As the USA is looking to recruit a redemption team with the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Joel Embiid looking to participate in the Olympics the challenge becomes harder but the task is not impossible.

Mr. Deng ” We identify with Basketball, basketball is our tool to peace, it gives us hope. This is what puts food on the table for us and opens doors for us. We will take it one game at a time. We apprised the effort the federation has done and being trusted by the federation to facilitate such an event is an honor for me. My thanks goes back to our leader Mr. Luol Deng and the Secretary General Dr. Ramadhan Aru.”. ” For every young hooper keep working hard and you shall be seen since hard work usually goes unnoticed.”

The federation has become a huge influence on many youths, and this has enabled the nation to be one and unite again. As the federation prepares for the upcoming Olympics the goal is to win it since they are playing not only for South Sudanese but for Africa.

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