June 11, 2009 (JUBA) – The basketball team from Bentiu in Unity State won the final match of a tournament on Wednesday evening, defeating the SPLA Bilpham Warriors 65 to 63 points.
- The final match of a basketball tournament in Juba, South Sudan, on the evening of June 10, 2009.
Six basketball teams participated in the four-day tournament: Jonglei State, Unity State, Central Equatoria State, Juba Town, Sudan Olympic (from Khartoum) and SPLA Warriors.
The match was well attended, including by General Salva Kiir Mayardit, Minister of SPLA Affairs Lt. General Nhial Deng Nhial, Lt. Gen. Obuto Mamur, and other officials. It was organized by the South Sudan Basketball Association with the collaboration of SPLA.
Military regalia were on display and crowds were also presented with displays of judo and karate.
Kiir, who left early, nevertheless has contributed the sum of 100,000 Sudanese Pounds and a Land Cruiser to the South Sudan Basketball Association.
In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Gabriel Changson Chang welcomed the President to the Stadium and said "These are your children Mr. President, these are the future leaders of this great country, we must support them with whatever we can so that we can compete at the 2012 World Olympics."
Lt. General Nhial, in whose honor the event was held, said that the South’s government will not neglect sports, and predicted that South Sudan will be competing at world tournaments in the years to come.
The Chairman of the Basketball Association, Robert Ladu (Bimma) urged the President of South Sudan to be attached more to sports and help in building up the youths by creating and supporting many youth activities all over South Sudan.
"More playgrounds for different sports are needed and are to be provided by each state and in each State," said Bimma.