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2014 South Sudanese Australian Summer Slam

By 25/12/2014News

Twice a year, the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association (SSANBA) holds two national tournaments for their community, and Helping Hoops is proud to sponsor both tournaments through the contribution of volunteers, expertise, and items to assist. Not only is the SSANBA’s aims in line with Helping Hoops, but many participants in our programs compete across multiple teams.

The 2014 December instalment of the tournament, the Summer Slam, was held on the weekend of December 19-21, and featured a record 40 teams from all over Australia competing over four divisions. Helping Hoops sent up three volunteers to assist in statistics, coaching, and the filming of video footage. The three days of competition culminated in Sunday’s finals, with Sydney maximising the home court advantage to win three out of four titles. Official Summer Slam results are:

Open Men – South Stars (Sydney)
Open Women – F.A.B. Star (Sydney)
Under 20 Men – Longhorns (Melbourne)
Under 18 Men – Minor Stars (Sydney)

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All men’s finals featured teams from Melbourne and Sydney, with Sydney’s Minor/South Stars getting the better of the Longhorns on this occasion. This rivalry it sure to continue in 2015 and beyond, with the Longhorns looking to go one better at the next tournament – the South Sudanese Australian National Classic.

The Slam Dunk Contest, which was held on the first day of the tournament for the first time to ensure the best dunkers were available and fresh to perform, featured some of the most athletic talent from around the country, but ultimately it was a familiar face who won. Helping Hoops participant Bol Bak soared to defend his National Classic title, which he won in July’s National Classic tournament.

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The Summer Slam and July’s National Classic are not only two of the most exciting tournaments in Australian basketball, but are also important events for the South Sudanese Australian community. Maintaining a sense of community and cultural identity, whilst celebrating the fact that we are all Australians, is a key feature of the work the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association undertakes.

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We would like to thank all players, coaches, team managers, referees, parents, supporters, and guest of honour for attending and making the Summer Slam the huge success it was. Thank you to the tournament organisers in Sydney who have set the bar high in 2014 with two great events. Your hard work and dedication is recognised and appreciated by all involved.

An announcement on the host city for July’s National Classic will be made in early January. We look forward to bringing you more updates in the lead up to the next tournament.

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