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The Ashraf Lodewyk Memorial Tournament 2008

By on July 17, 2008 in News

Ashraf Lodewyk was a charismatic and talented former Wits University shooting guard who passed away in a car accident outside Cape Town 5 years ago. Before he passed Ashraf Lodewyk was loved and known by all in the South African basketball community before he passed on so early in his life along with his girlfriend. Every year in honour of his memory Wits University hosts this prestigious basketball tournament at Hall 29. This year the tournament started on Friday the 11th of July until Sunday the 13th of July. The tournament was not as well publicized as previous years and because of that not many teams entered. There was only a no-show of spectators throughout.

This year defending champions Wits Alumni, Egoli Magic, Momentum, Wits Rebels, Wits University and Scorpions entered the Men’s tournament whilst Wits University, Raptors and Scorpions all competed for a title in the women’s competition. Absent from the tourney were teams like UJ, Pretoria University, Pretoria Heat and Vaal who would have added much needed flavor and depth in the quality of ball at the A Lodewyk Memorial.

Although Wits Alumni were the defending champs, Egoli Magic was the favorite heading into the Men’s tournament. They had beat Wits Alumni twice before, once in the first half of the LOP league and once at the Slam da Trash festival where they won R5000 in the process. So Wits Alumni had a point to prove and were looking to get revenge while Egoli wanted to prove that the previous victories were no fluke. They even recruited Neo Mothiba who normally plays for Pretoria Heat.

Egoli Magic cruised to the semi-finals in their group after blowing out Wits University by 45 Friday and beating down the Scorpions by 63 on Saturday. Wits Alumni had a tough opener against Wits Rebels who they beat by 5 points in a close game on Friday. They had an easier day in the office on Saturday after cruising past Momentum by 21 points and booking their place in the semi’s.

In the Women’s tourney the Scorpions beat Wits by 6 points on Saturday but went on to lose to the Raptors by 8 later on that day. Wits recovered by beating the Raptors by 9 points and booking a place in the final against the Raptors on Sunday.

In the Semi’s Wits Alumni Crib-walked all over Wits University in an easy 37 point victory while Egoli dominated Wits Rebels in a 34 point victory. Wits Alumni and Egoli Magic started their game at 2pm on Sunday afternoon after the early morning semi. Wits Alumni got to the venue 10 minutes before tip-off and didn’t really get a chance to warm up properly. But when the game started you couldn’t really tell as Alumni got out to an early lead. The game was close until the end of the second quarter when Egoli Magic took the lead and never looked back. Egoli killed Alumni off drives from Joseph Mazibuko, Sifiso Ngcobo and by hitting all of their open jumpers. The easily shot over 60% from the field. Alumni on the other hand were not making theirs and also weren’t aggressive enough on offense. The Alumni D gave Egoli a lot of open looks and points in the paint. The highlight of the game was the defensive collapse which led to Lesego Molebatsi of the Magic getting an open look on the wing, passing up an open shot and deciding to take it strong to the hole where Joe Loo stood trying to take a charge. Lesego used the opportunity to dunk on Joe Loo who is usually the one who dunks on people. Talk about exclamation mark. Alumni just couldn’t get back into it after that and went on to lose the game by 16 points. Alumni seems to be a lot weaker and less disciplined and this is why they have never been able to beat Egoli this year. Mboshe Ronunu of Alumni proved this when he earned a technical foul after complaining about a foul call.

After the final most of the players from Wits went to Ashraf’s mom’s house in Maraisburg to have dinner with the Lodewyk family.

Hopefully next year the tournament will be bigger and better. Personally I’m looking forward to that cooking again and hopefully winning the tournament for my dear friend Ashie who would have been a Wits Alumni player if he was still alive.

Article supplied by Tshepo Ditshego

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There Are 3 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Yani says:

    I agree T…this years tournament was “slighly” (for lack of a better word) dodge compared to all the previous ALM Tournaments.
    And this is coming from a proud WITSIE who helped organise the previous tournaments which even saw an international team come through, as well as, national media coverage.

    I never knew Ashraf personally BUT from w@ I gathered from previous WITSIES like Quintin, Tshiamo and Ntsiki, he was a great man who loved the game. I feel that it is only fair that we honour his memory the best way we can each year. This would include media coverage to the fullest extent, more competitive teams, great entertainment, action packed basketball and really just plain old ORGANIZATION!!!

    Every year the family comes through and it really is up to us to make them feel welcome and help them celebrate the memory of Ashraf.

    There were certain highlights like the match between Egoli Magic and WITS Alumni and that ended off the tournament on a good note. However, the best part was being welcomed to the family home to have dinner, bond as “ballers” and have a good time.
    I thank the Lodewyk family for treating us on Sunday and I look forward to more ALM Tournaments in future.

  2. Peaches says:

    This was my first Ashraf Tournament experience, and I am disappointed. I have heard of how the event was previously a big and exciting for basketball players and spectators alike.
    I didnt know Ashraf but felt a deep embarassment on behalf of Wits, because of how the event turned out.

    I just hope that whoever is responsible will really put in more effort and heart into the event next year.

  3. Tshepo says:

    Hopefully the organisers will come through in the clutch next year to make the tournament a huge fixture in the bball calendar. It has so much potential to become great if a little more effort was put in to it.