Kimberley in the Northern Cape is set to host the largest basketball tournament in South Africa as part of Northern Cape Extreme Week. The Kimberley Diamond Cup basketball tournament will form part of the action-packed programme leading up to the skateboarding world championships from 2 – 5 October.
The team challenge tournament carries the biggest total prize money in local basketball at R30 000 and is guaranteed to bring the best under-19 South African teams to the Diamond City. According to event organisers, they are expecting more than 20 top teams from Kimberley, North West province, Gauteng, the Free State and even Lesotho to take up the challenge.
The teams will go head-to-head on Saturday, 27 September, in an attempt to secure their places in the final rounds on Sunday, 28 September. International rules will apply and each game will run for 40 minutes with a five minute halftime. In addition, there will be open contests, including a dunk contest, a “skillz challenge” and a 3-point shooting competition.
The games will be hosted at the Hazel Jenkins basketball courts, which were dedicated to the former premier of the Northern Cape Provincial Government and are adjacent to the Kumba Skate Plaza, where the Kimberley Diamond Cup skateboarding championships will be hosted from 2-5 October. Some of the world’s top professional, as well as local South African amateur street and vert skaters, will converge on the capital city to vie for the impressive prize purse of R5-million.
According to Tim McFerran of international events company World Skateboarding Grand Prix, the basketball tournament should be an exciting addition to Northern Cape Extreme Week. “Basketball was my first love, as it taught me how to be competitive, to push hard and that you have to persevere to achieve your goals in life. I am excited that KDC is bringing another great event that will benefit the local community and help to grow the number of youth playing basketball while improving the already growing usage of the Kumba Skate Plaza and the park,” mentions McFerran.
Patrick Seboko, head of the department of economic development and tourism remarked that the basketball challenge will improve the already growing multi-purpose usage of the Kumba skate plaza and the park. “It’s a great destination for youth and a shining example of how government and private enterprise can work together for the betterment of youth, while boosting the provincial tourism industry at the same time. By hosting this tournament, we are hoping to attract some of South Africa’s best basketball players and are looking forward to making this a permanent feature of Northern Cape Extreme Week, which is set to make the Northern Cape the preferred destination for sporting action in the country,” explains Seboko.
Basketball SA, the official non-profit governing body in the country, currently ranks South Africa at 71st on the world rankings with the United States of America in the top spot. South Africa joined the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) in 1992.