Hout Bay Snipers on target

Snipers’ Sesethu Mbiza, supported by Ashanti Ketchem on her left, goes on the attack during their Cape Town Basketball Association under-16 final against Shaq Squad.

Hout Bay Snipers Basketball Club members are beaming after winning three out of four championship titles.

Their journey that started in 2014 with chairman and founder, Bryn Mbulawa rounding up a few youngsters in Imizamo Yethu to shoot some hoops at a nearby court.

As its membership and reputation grew, the club attracted the attention of a number of well-wishers who ultimately became long-standing patrons and helped Snipers become a force to be reckoned with on the city basketball scene.

In a sport dominated by teams from the CBD and northern suburbs, the small Hout Bay side outplayed and outscored their rivals at the Cape Town Basketball Association’s (CTBA’s) junior finals at the Mew Way Hall, in Khayelitsha, a fortnight ago with the under-12 boys, under-14 girls and under-18 boys winning their respective divisions.

Hout Bay Snipers’ Ashanti Ketchem looks to slips past her marker during her side’s Cape Town Basketball Association under-16 girls’ final against Paarl’s Mbekweni Shaq Squad.

“Our main focus is and has been always using the game of basketball and education as a vehicle for the young ones in the community to succeed,” Mbulawa said.

“We are grateful to our ward councillor and the City’s sports and recreation department for blessing us with two new courts at the Hout Bay Sports complex which was part of basketball game development,” he said.

“As of today, we have 68 players from all corners of Hout Bay and eight teams of different age groups. And, the cherry on top of it all,” he said, “we have five players selected for the Western Cape under-15 provincial team who will be going to Johannesburg to play in national championships in mid-December – Junio Cloete, Ashanti Ketchem, Lisakhanya Sifile, Athenkosi Mkiva and Slindokhuhle Baba.”

Hout Bay Snipers’ Sesethu Mbiza shakes her marker during her side’s Cape Town Basketball Association under-16 girls final against Shaq Squad.

Mbulawa said the main aim for next season is to defend their three championship titles and hopefully capture one or two more and to keep it in Hout Bay.

“We are in talks with our partners and other basketball organisations to put in place plans for coaching clinics during the summer break and try to improve in many aspects of their game.

Under-16 and 18 head coach Osvaldo Manuel agrees, saying: “Our main focus is to win more championships in all the age categories and see our players playing at a higher level in the country or even abroad.”

Like Mbulawa, the coach is also on a mission to grow the club and to attract more sponsors within the basketball community and beyond.

“I wish parents could encourage their children to practise basketball or any sporting activity, It’s not just good for your body but also good for your mind and keeps kids away from trouble,” he said.

“The community needs to be more involved if we are to keep the kids away from drugs and alcohol and so on,” he said.

“There’s nothing more beautiful than to see your child or brother or sister excelling in sport. It’s our responsibility to make that happen, because if we don’t do this as a community, no other community will come and do it for us. We have to stand together for the betterment of our community and fight crime through basketball and other sports. We have big talent here in Hout Bay. They just need a big push and proper guidance.

“More importantly,” he said, “we don’t just work with children, but any adult who wishes to learn basketball,” he said.

For more information, call 084 226 7654 or 083 997 6648.

Snipers’ Asahanti Ketchem goes on the attack during her side’s under-16 Cape Town Basketball Association championship final match against Shaq Squad. This was the only one of four final matches involving Snipers that the Hout Bay side lost. In this case, Shaq Squad came away with a 38-18 victory.
Hout Bay Snipers’ Zade Keeton-Darkoh goes for the basket during his side’s tight 56-55 victory against Linge Basketball Academy in their Cape Town Basketball Association under-18 boys’ final.
Hout Bay Snipers’ Tawonga Manyeruke looks to spread the ball during his side’s tight 56-55 victory against Linge Basketball Academy in their Cape Town Basketball Association under-18 boys’ final.