The full-court league comprised of five teams - Wildcats, GYC Greece, Beamers, Stallions and Bangladesh Women's Sports Federation
Women’s Summer Basketball League 2018 was held at the outdoor court of the Gulshan Youth Club where the girls and women showcased their love for basketball at the tournament. The participants comprised of players from diverse backgrounds such as schools, colleges, universities, current and former Bangladesh national team players, among others.
The full-court league comprised of five teams - Wildcats, GYC Greece, Beamers, Stallions and Bangladesh Women's Sports Federation. A total of 11 games were held – 10 league style games and then one final game, based on team points.
There were awards for the top-scorer, Most Valuable Player and a free-throw shootout was arranged by the organisers where two players from each team participated. The organisers believed these little gestures and awards motivated girls tremendously and kept them inspired even if they did not win the tournament.
What makes this tournament special is that a full-court women's league was organised, with no sponsors - solely funded by the women who participated. The organisers got tremendous support from GYC to plan everything independently.
They received support from Nihar Siddique and Sayeda Kabir Munmun, members of GYC. The final was held between Wildcats and GYC Greece.
Wildcats won and became the champion of the league with the final score reading 19-15 against GYC Greece. Farheen Amira Rahman from Wildcats finished as the top-scorer.
Ishika Nahyan Hossain from Stallions was adjudged the MVP for her promising performance. The free-throw shootout was an incredibly exciting segment of the tournament where Emarah Siddique from Wildcats was announced as the “Free Throw Queen”.
Colours FM later interviewed the players from the top teams on a live radio show where social commentary on the scope for women athletes and hobbyists was discussed. The show’s link is available on YouTube.
The two-day tournament held from Monday to Tuesday had its ups and downs as well. The unpredictable weather was an obstacle.
On the first day, the organisers weren’t able to complete the games due to rain. But the teams were very supportive and they stayed and waited the entire day for the skies to clear out, and even swept the court with mops and brooms together.
Everyone just wanted to play. On the second day, the weather was on everyone’s side and the organisers smoothly completed the tournament.
Initially there were eight teams which went down to five due to other school tournament commitments for some teams. Another major obstacle faced by the organisers was the lack of sponsors.
“In future we'd like more organisations to step forward so that we can do such sports event with no entry fee. We need brands to invest in us so that the sport can grow,” said one of the organisers.
“We’d also like to give a special shout out for the Women's Complex team (BWSF) who played for the first time ever, only after learning the sport for six months. They have been training under Bulbul Sir, a veteran coach of Scholastica and the Bangladesh Basketball Federation.”
After this tournament, the organisers received many positive messages and feedback from younger girls eager to play basketball. For anyone who is interested, there is a GYC training school on weekends from 8am-10am.
Ashreen Mridha and Gulnahar Mahbub Monika organised the tournament in collaboration with GYC as their venue partner, ColoursFM as radio partner, Tanvir Ali Photography for photos and Studio Dorset for videos. The games were refereed by Ibhrahim Mohammad, Bangladesh national team player.