Wits Horny Bucks come out on top

Wits men’s basketball team, the Wits Horny Bucks, wins the title in the USSA basketball tournament for the first time.

WITS HORNY  Bucks won their first ever University Sports South Africa (USSA) basketball tournament beating Vaal University of Technology (VUT) last Friday. The win is the most significant accomplishment for the team in recent years.

The final, played on Wits’ home turf, saw the Bucks beat VUT 68-58 breaking the visitors’ seven-title winning streak. The Wits team dominated the competition by winning every one of their six games in the tournament which kicked off on July 4. They played local rivals UJ (University of Johannesburg) in the semi-finals, winning the match by 20 points.

Horny Bucks captain Wayne Mhlongo said winning USSA for the first time was his best basketball experience. He said he owes the experience to his team players and that this had been one of his objectives as a long time basketball player. The team has come a long way from the administration issues of last year which saw them exit USSA early on in the competition.

img-20160711-wa0000-600x337                    Wits Bucks claims its first ever title in the 2016 USSA basketball tournament.                                                                                                                                                     Picture: Provided

The USSA sports tournament, considered to be the official unified national umbrella sports structure for student sports activities in the tertiary education sector of South Africa, is held annually. According to Mhlongo, the team’s previous highest finish in the tournament was in second place.

Head coach Tshiamo Ngakane said the team won the Friday Night Lights Tournament in 2014 but winning the USSA for the first time is special because it is the national championship. Ngakane believes the team’s participation in the Inner City Super League (ICSL) in February prepared them for the USSA win. Ngakane said the ICSL “did wonders” for the team because they played against the best players in the country, which really worked to their advantage.

Horny Bucks player Siphesihle Buthelezi, a second year student, said that the league was very challenging but it prepared them for the USSA. Another one of the players, Angelo Quinn, a second year student, said that playing basketball with players more experienced than him has helped him develop.

For Ngakane, basketball is more than just winning.  “In the end my guys are here to achieve greater in life than winning a basketball tournament.  Wits basketball needs to contribute to that greater good. We do that by teaching players how to wake up with the intention of being their greatest self every day,” said Ngakane.

Related Articles:

Wits Vuvuzela: Wits end VUT 7-year winning streak 

Wits Vuvuzela: Wits hosts USSA’s 2016

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