National, News

South Sudan rating climb in Africa, global basketball

By William Madouk

South Sudan men’s national basketball team has climbed up the FIBA Men’s World ranking index, moving from position 62 to 31, and top in the African continent.

In the latest FIBA updated table, the Bright Stars have been ranked at position 31 after Japan, Iran, Lebanon, China, and Croatia respectively. According to the latest data, South Sudan reaped 375.5 points.

Based on continental ranking South Sudan is ranked as the top best basketball team in Africa trailed by Cote d’Ivoire on second position followed by Angola, Tunisia, Nigeria, Egypt, and Cape Verde on seventh position.

When the Bright Stars jetted back after making their first but unsuccessful attempt at the recently concluded 2023 FIBA World Cup in the Philippines, a crowd led by political leaders congregated at the Juba Airport to welcome the team home.

South Sudan shoots rocket high to attain its first-ever historic victory in the ongoing Basketball World Cup with 89-69 points against China in Manila, Philippines.

This comes after they suffered a devastating defeat in their opening match of the tournament against Puerto Rico, a 101-96 loss in overtime.

But against all odds, the Bright Stars have shown their determined spirit at this year’s FIBA World Cup after earning a sport for the Paris Olympics 2024 on their first stab.

South Sudan carried the prize through a 3-2 record in Manila to thrive over all other African teams just three years after Luol Deng took over as the South Sudan Basketball Federation (SSBF) President.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see all of us celebrating what our athletes are doing, our basketball players, of going out there and playing together and now becoming number one in Africa,” said Deng up on arrival from Manilla, Philippines.

Meanwhile, the minister of youth and sports, Dr. Albino Bol, conveyed appreciation to the team for making the country proud.

“When we were in Manila, people around the world started knowing where South Sudan is and what South Sudanese can do. And this is what the Serbian coach said that you guys have good and strong, resilient players, but only we are lacking experience,” Bol said earlier.

Mr. Bol noted that securing a slot for the Paris Olympic Games 2024 was a great achievement for not only the East African country that made it to the World Cup but also for the world at large.


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