Star player’s chance of a lifetime

2019-02-20 06:01
PHOTO: suppliedAndile Vilakazi.

PHOTO: suppliedAndile Vilakazi.

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THANKS to her skill on the court, a young basketball player from Alexandra High School has been selected to attend a training session in Spain where she will stand a chance at being awarded a sports scholarship to study at her university of choice.

Andile Vilakazi (17) was chosen for the opportunity in August last year during a three-day basketball girls tournament that was held at Pietermaritzburg­ Girls High School.

Speaking to Echo, Andile said that when she attended the tournament she had no idea that there would be talent scouts present until their coaches told them that there were people from the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and other basketball organisations attending the tournament. She was informed then that they were looking for basketball players who would receive training and the chance to earn a basketball scholarship.

Split into two sessions, the overseas training is set to take place in March and June. Andile has the choice to attend either session.

“When I received the news that I had been chosen just four days after the tournament I was so shocked — I could not believe it. I was so overwhelmed. I had no words and I still have no words, even now. After so many years of playing basketball, now I get an opportunity to grow and be able to train with people who have a lot of experience. I believe that I will gain a lot in this training; I will be able to have more self-confidence as an individual. This will also give me an opportunity to get this scholarship and attend any university in the world.

“This is also an opportunity for me to put my name out there and perform at my best because I want to play for a Women’s National Basket Association (WNBA) one day,” she said.

Andile said when she started playing basketball she did not like it but, fortunately, her friends from school encouraged her and convinced her to play because she was a good player.

“I am very grateful to all my friends who believed in me and encouraged me to play because I would have not made it to the school’s first team and chosen to go to Spain if it was not for them.

“I am now passionate about basketball and I will do my best to make my school and my country proud while I am in Spain.”

In parting, Andile urged people to please help her reach for her dream as she now needs to raise R10 000 for the trip.

If you would like to help Andile, send an e-mail to or call 078 340 9772 or 079 258 8224.


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