Using basketball as a catalyst for change in Steenberg

At the end of the day, basketball was the winner in Steenberg. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Chairman of Bulldogs Basketball Club, Clint Edwards, giving some words of encouragement to youngsters, Kendall Meyer, Malachi Edwards and Jordan de Long, from Ocean View. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

In a world where sport unites communities against all odds of life, basketball was the talk of the town at Albertus Hof in Steenberg on Saturday morning.

Surrounded by some of the oldest Cape flats in the area, behind one of the busiest police stations on weekends, with kids running around, women setting up boerewors stalls and cars playing music, the court was filled with positive energy from Steenberg, Sea Winds, Lavender Hill and neighbouring areas.

All in the name of raising awareness and protection for the youngsters to find an alternative through sport, the hoop was at the centre of this goal.

Familiar faces were in the crowd. The president of basketball in the province and head coach of Africa’s Cape Town Tiger’s, Relton Booysen, was joined by the chairman and secretary of Bulldogs Basketball Club, Clint and Lindsay Edwards, as well as the organisers, Gerald and Joslynn de Long.

Over 150 youngsters were present for the three-versus-three tournament. First place was won by Underdogs, with second place taken by Shift Team and Ocean View in third place.

Chairman at Destiny Basketball Club, Gerald de Long said they are nine passionate adults united in wanting to effect change within their communities and among the youth.

“Hopefully we can somehow help our community to pass through this evil time we’re leaving in. As adults we just feel that we need to give back and carry our youngsters so we can protect our next generation, making sure they can become outstanding citizens through sport,” said De Long.

Booysen said the community is filled with young, talented basketball players who will shine on a grand scale.

“A lot of people turned out today, in between a lot of flats. There is opportunity for the kids to get away from gangsterism as basketball is an option,” said Booysen.

Young ballers from Bulldogs in Ocean View, Kendall Meyer, Malachi Edwards and Jordan Francke said they were “hyped”, “grateful”, and “excited” for the opportunity to participate in the tournament.

“They are not ready for us, here we come!” said Meyer.

Young ballers from Steenberg strutting their stuff in an engaged basketball tournament hosted by Destiny Basketball Club. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Flying like Michael Jordan… Youngsters from Steenberg, Seawinds, Lavender Hill and neighbouring communities participated in a 3v3 basketball tournament in Steenberg on Saturday. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Chairman of Bulldogs Basketball Club, Clint Edwards, showing the youngsters how it is done. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Chairman of Destiny Basketball Club, Gerald de Long, on the attack. Picture: Lonwabo Marele