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October 2nd 2008
Published: October 4th 2008
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The Thanda CelticsThe Thanda CelticsThe Thanda Celtics

Lungelo, the full-time basketball coach (seated center), chose the name 'Celtics' for the Thanda basketball team. The Celtics is Reed's favorite team, I had a pair of Celtics shorts I was always wearing to class, and the one magazine we had in our posession was the Sports Illustrated NBA Finals edition, featuring the champions Boston Celtics. AND we are green. In short, there was really no other choice for what our team name would be.
Here are some pictures from Thanda Basketball's first ever game against a 'real' opponent! Below is a short review of the game I wrote for Thanda:

Thanda Afterschool vs. Genesis Afterschool!! Our First Game!!

Saturday, August 17th will be a day etched in the minds of Thanda Basketball students for a long time. After weeks and weeks of practices, of teaching the kids about dribbling and passing, about working together as a team, about taking care of the ball, about being aggressive and about rebounding, our players finally got to play their first game. The students were all excited, many of them nervous as well. Our opponent was the Genesis Afterschool Program from the town of Margate, which is about an hour down the coast from Thanda. This was the inaugural match of what we hope to be regular event for Thanda Basketball.

Genesis came with two teams, an A team and a B team. We divided our Thanda players into two squads as well, having a boys’ team and a girls’ team. The first game between Thanda Boys and Genesis A started out fast and aggressive, but with few baskets scored. The score was 3-2 at halftime, with the Genesis team out front. In the second half both teams settled in a bit, playing with more poise and control. The Genesis team proved to be the more experienced, taking better care of the ball and making just a few more shots. We were extremely proud of our boys’ aggressiveness and poise against the much more experienced Genesis team. Genesis won the match 15-8.

In the second match between the Thanda Girls and Genesis B team, things again began slow as the Thanda Girls found their confidence against the bigger players on Genesis B. The girls seemed to increase in confidence and aggressiveness as the game went on. We were particularly proud of the girls’ passing and the way they took care of the ball; they did not give up against a strong opponent. Thanda lost another hard-fought game, 25-10.

We finished the day off with a big meal of curry and rice for all of the players, coaches, and all who helped make the day a success. Possibly the most wonderful part of the whole event was seeing how well the players from both teams got along with each other, both their positive attitudes during the game and during the post game meal. It brought a smile to my face to watch them hang out, play cards together, share jokes and stories. By the end it was as if we were one big basketball family.

All in all it was a wonderful day. As students said their goodbyes I was asked by several of my students: “ When are we going to visit Genesis Afterschool for our next game?” Very soon, I hope.

Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


Genesis AfterschoolGenesis Afterschool
Genesis Afterschool

Genesis Afterschool was an afterschool program in Port Shepstone, a small town on the coast about an hour and fifteen minutes from Thanda. Jason, their coach (back right) met Reed, the previous Thanda basketball director, and started the process of trying to plan a match between our two teams.

Jon Leland was designated the ref for the game. He dressed well for the occaison. Like our team, this would be Jon's first ever basketball game (as a referee). He did super-duper.
team huddleteam huddle
team huddle

moments before the opening tip....

Thanda CelticsThanda Celtics
Thanda Celtics

from left to right: Lungelo, Zizile, Vuyokazi, Nokwanda, Thuthu
we scored!!we scored!!
we scored!!

Mayhem followed our first basket of the day, which was a long jumpshot from Emmanuel, our team captain. This is the customary reaction whenever you score a goal/point in soccer or netball; therefore after each point scored in the basketball game, all of our fans did the same as they would at a soccer game. They stormed the court hooting and jumping, hugging each other and yelling with excitement. Pretty cool.

taking a breather during game 1. A short timeout to discuss how it's going, talk about what we can work on to do better.
Keeping scoreKeeping score
Keeping score

Viktorija, at the scorer's table.
lost balllost ball
lost ball

getting the ball down after getting it stuck between the fence and the backboard.
the girls' teamthe girls' team
the girls' team

Ready for game 2.
Thanda and GenesisThanda and Genesis
Thanda and Genesis

After the match, both teams posing together for a photo.

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