It was an event with elegance and plush at the Best Western Premier Hotel located at the Airport where Queens and Kings of Ghana Basketball were being crowned at the 2016 edition of the Ghana Basketball Awards. It was quite a blissful night as the events unfolded with cheers and applauds from the distinguished audience with some disappointment from those who walked away with no award in their hands. At the end of the ceremony Suleman Abobakar popularly known as “Bigtime” from Accra Polytechnic and Braves of CEPS won the most coveted award on the day as the Most Valuable Player.
The show was hosted by prominent members of the organizers, Rite Multimedia, in Patrick Akoto and Jake Morrison who did justice to the responsibility of keeping the audience engaged and excited as the night wore on. Comedian DKB and singer Eshun provided great side attraction for the event with audience laughing and experiencing goosebumps in their respective performances.
The first award was the best Senior High School Team which went to St Augustine’s College for the team’s outstanding performance in the 2016 edition of the Sprite Ball Competition. The Best Male High School Player accordingly went to Dennis Dugbenuu also known as Mantse who was the MVP of the Sprite Ball Competition from ST Augustine’s College. Dugbennuu’s “THANK YOU” message ended on a hilarious note as he jokingly requested for ace journalist Nathaniel Attoh of Joy Fm who failed to fulfill the promise of buying young Dugbenuu his phone.
Another spectacle of the night was the University of Ghana sweeping most awards available as the team won The GUSA, UPAC,and Overall team of the Year. These were all accolades bestowed on the team that won Gold in the GUSA games, the UPAC trophy as well as going to South Africa to conquer the Universities on the continent in the FASU games in 2016. As such, individual honors did not pass University of Ghana by, as Coach Meme Falconer who led the team to all that success came out coach of the year.
Maxwell Okoampa from the University of Ghana also came out the Tertiary Most Valuable Player. The Director of Sports at the University of Ghana Dr Bella Bello Bitigu in his remarks said, “The success is a sign that shows that the strategy the sports directorate has adopted is working and that the players are committed”. He went on to state that it was indeed a fantastic night for the University of Ghana. The tertiary Most Valuable Player Maxwell Okoampa said of his award, “I was a bit disappointed not to win the ultimate (since he was a nominee for the Overall MVP) but I will take this award and put everything else in the hands of God”. He also went on to proclaim the fact that he has the vision of playing in the NBA.
The Women’s Division saw the celebration of Aggrey Memorial Senior High School. In the 2013 Ghana basketball awards, a young Matilda Gordon from Aggrey Memorial School won High school female player of the year and in 2016 she became the Female Tertiary and Overall Most Valuable Player with Accra Polytechnic.
Her alma mater, Aggrey Memorial won the 2016 High School Female Team of the Year while the Female High School Player of the Year went to Juliana Cudjoe also of Aggrey Memorial. Matilda Gordon’s Accra Polytechnic won the GHAPSA Female team of the year and their male counterparts who boasted of the Overall MVP award winner Souleman Aboubakar also won the GHAPSA MALE TEAM of the Year.
The night also honored Toronto Raptors General Manager Masai Ujuri for being founder of the Giants of Africa initiative which aims at providing gear, facilities and coaches to the youth of Africa with the aim of promoting basketball on the continent. Serge Ibaka of Orlando Magic was given the award of Best African Player.
Here is the full list of award winners on the night
- Development Award – Chiefs Basketball Academy
- Clean Team of the Year – Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology
- High School Male Player of the Year – Dennis Dugbenu, St. Augustine’s College
- High School Female Player of the Year – Juliana Cudjoe, Aggrey Memorial
- High School Coach of the Year – Lawrence Ampiah, St. Augustine’s College
- Referee of the Year – Gasu Quarmyne
- Tertiary Male Player of the Year -Maxwell Okuampah, University of Ghana
- Tertiary Female Coach of the Year – Matilda Gordon, Accra Polytechnic
- Coach of the Year – Meme Falconer, University of Ghana
- Overall Most Valuable Female Player of the Year – Matilda Gordon
- Overall Male Player of the Year – Suleman Abubakar
- Africa Development Award – Masai Ujiri, Toronto Raptors General Manager
- African Player of the Year – Serge Ibaka, Orlando Magic
- PUSAG Male Team of the Year – Marshalls University College
- PUSAG Female Team of the Year – Valley View University
- GUSA Female Team of the Year – University of Cape-Coast
- GUSA Male Team of the Year – University of Ghana
- GHAPSA Male Team of the Year – Accra Polytechnic
- GHAPSA Female Team of the Year – Accra Polytechnic
- UPAC Team of the Year – University of Ghana
- High School Male Team of the Year -St. Augustine’s College
- High School Female Team of the Year – Aggrey Memorial Mont Zion
- Dedication and Valor – Anthony Adjorh
- Dedication and Valor – Benjamin Baafi
Source: Kwaku Anno-Kumi / Ghana Fans