Dunk Grassroot: Canadian player organises event in Ghana to support young basketball talents

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Canada-born Ghanaian basketball player, Kobby Antwi has collaborated with the Dunk Grassroot to organise a basketball event for James Town.

The event which took place on December 30, 2023, at the Dunk Grassroot basketball court saw hundreds of kids gathered at the grounds to watch and learn from the experienced Canadian basketball player.

DUNK which stands for Developing Unity Nurturing Knowledge is a youth-led, community-based grassroots organisation in the country.

“I was sitting in my college dorm one day and my family had planned a first trip back to Ghana and it occurred to me that doing all that I have been doing with kids and coaching youth teams in New York I wanted to connect with some of the youth in Ghana so I brought the idea to my father and my whole family talked about it and we all contributed ideas. So we did some research and Dunk Grassroot was one of the prominent organizations in Ghana and so chance and by the will of God we connected and it’s been such a blessing”

Kobby who is a Colombia University student and also a coach in a youth team in New York City says he chose to do this project in Ghana because it was an opportunity for him to connect with his motherland.

“My father was born in Ghana and when he was six years when he migrated to Canada and he worked very hard for us to have a lot of opportunities and the reason why I wanted to come back to Ghana was to connect with my home and my roots and to see where my Father came from and where I am from.”

He also advised young basketball talents in Ghana who dream of putting Ghana on the map through basketball.

‘’I know the main sport here is football. Basketball is a sport you can play without a lot of resources, all you need is a ball and a basket so my advice to the kids who are trying to make it to basketball would be to forget about the things that are above your control and put all your focus into the things that you can control. Just keep your relationship between you and the ball and let God and the coaches take care of the rest of the noise’’

Zaveh Antwi, younger brother of Kobby played a key role in supporting the project by embarking on activities such as a drive shoe project and also a community fundraiser to help support the kids in the Ghanaian community.

“I went to my school and I pretty much went to all the basketball teams we have at our school, I talked to the principal and vice principal about doing a shoe drive so all the basketball teams can bring their used shoes or fairly new basketball shoes to bring down to the foundation here in Ghana and give back to the children here and I think it’s been very successful. We got a lot of shoes and I think the kids are going to enjoy that” he said.

He also added that raising funds back in Canada for the foundation was very important to help keep the program running and there are plans in place to make the annual activity.

“We did some fundraising back in Canada and we raised a lot of money for this foundation. Me and my brother, we had a lot of fundraising going for this project. He did some cooperative fund raising and I did community fundraising to just raise money and strengthen the foundation and this basketball program. I think it’s going to impact the kids and help the program run throughout the year. We plan to come back annually and give back to the kids.”

A mentorship program was also organised to teach the kids more about the importance of basketball, combining education with the sport and potential struggles.

Training sessions and games also took place to sharpen the skills of the players.

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