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Bentiu basketball team to represent South Sudan in US tournament

June 4, 2011 (JUBA) – Bentiu basketball team of Unity state will represent the soon-to-be independent Republic of South Sudan in the United States of America this year after emerging as the best team in South Sudan.

The Bentui team will be the first to represent South Sudan, as an independent state at an international sporting event.

South Sudan will formally become independent on July 9 following the overwhelming vote in favor of secession from the rest of Sudan in a January referendum. The Bentui team representing South Sudan will be among the other countries whose secondary school students will converge in the United States of America for sports competitions late this year.

To select the team to travel to the US the best teams from each of South Sudan’s ten states have engaged in inter-state competitions for the last two weeks.

The minister of Information in Unity State, Gideon Gatpan Thoar, on Saturday told Sudan Tribune that Bentiu’s basketball team emerged as the final winner after beating other nine other teams. Bentui beat the team of Aweil from Northern Bahr el Ghazal state in the final in Juba.

Thoar said the team also represented South Sudan last month in the East Africa Secondary School sports competitions in Nairobi, Kenya. The team lost in the semi-final, but was awarded a “cup for good conduct and professionalism” by the sports federation of East Africa.

(ST)