PRINCE Edward School will for the second year host the annual Eversharp Under-20 Schools National Basketball Tournament with several top basketball playing high schools expected.
Takudzwa Chitsiga Sports Reporter
The tournament, which made a return last year after a two-year sabbatical, is slated for September 15 and 16 with defending champions in boys and girl’s categories, Prince Edward and Girls High, expected to defend their titles.
The two-day event will have top basketball playing schools battling it out for trophies, medals and cash prices.
In the last edition, winners walked away with cash prizes of US$1 500 for champions, US$1 000 for second-place and third-place got US$750.
Powerhouses Girls High School banked on their experience the last time out but faced stiff competition from traditional giants Mt Pleasant, Murehwa High, Evelin and Bradley among several others.
Girls High have players who ply their trade in the Harare Basketball Association League, which always give them an extra edge.
The tournament, which has grown in prominence over the last six years, is expected to attract more than 20 boys’ and more than 10 girls’ teams.
Tournament co-ordinator, Sledge Chinyoka, said everything was in place to host the tournament which was last held in 2019.
“We are happy to confirm dates for this year’s edition of the Eversharp Under-20 Basketball Tournament. Fixtures and the verification process are in progress and we look forward to a competitive event.
“We are expecting 40 schools and PE and Girls High are the defending champions. This year we need to empower non-traditional playing schools so that we can avail players from those schools to be scouted. Hence, get an opportunity to be selected into the national team,” said Chinyoka.
The Eversharp Under-20 Schools National Basketball Tournament is arguably the biggest schools basketball tournament in Zimbabwe.
Competition is usually stiff at the Eversharp Under-20 Schools National Basketball Tournament. It is such junior tournaments which saw some of Zimbabwe’s best basketball talents Vitalis Chikoko and Patrick Nhamburo rising to reach their potential. Chikoko’s basketball career took from Harare to the Germany and Italian leagues before moving to France where he is now based.
Chikoko currently plays for Élan Béarnais Pau-Orthez, who are 9-time champions. He is in the second season of his second stint at the French basketball team. He was there from 2016 to 2019 but left for Metropolitans 92 for two seasons before returning in 2021.
It was at Prince Edward where Nhamburo developed into a basketball star before he also left his Dzivarasekwa hood to play in Canada.