The South Sudanese Australian National Classic (SSANC) is headed to Melbourne in 2015. Over the weekend of July 10-12, we will see over 35 teams from across Australia, consisting of some of the most athletic and exciting players in the country, assemble at Frankston Basketball Stadium for three days of frenetic-paced action.

The SSANC is one of two annual basketball tournaments organised by the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association, and is not only one of the most exciting tournaments in Australia, but also an important event for the South Sudanese Australian community. Maintaining a sense of community and cultural identity, whilst celebrating the fact that we are all Australians, is a key feature of the work the South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association undertakes.

Screen Shot 2015-07-04 at 21.54.10The SSANC will welcome special guests Luol Deng of the Miami Heat, and Joe Mantegna of Blair Academy as well as the CEO of the Luol Deng Foundation, Steve Vear. Deng, an NBA player of South Sudanese heritage, will host a free invitation only basketball clinic on Thursday, July 9 for specific SSANC players and other invited guests. Heading up the clinic will be Mantegna, who coached Deng previously in high school, and still works closely with Deng and his Foundation. Deng and Mantegna are eager to see the local talent on offer and help coaches by sharing resources, expertise and other relevant information. Upon speaking with Deng he said:

“I first attended the SSANBA Tournament in July 2013 and was amazed by the talent at the tournament as well as how the community all comes together in one place. I left knowing that I had to get more involved with the project where this year I am excited to bring my High School Coach, Joe Mantegna, with me to run a basketball clinic to help the kids and coaches grow and develop their skills.

“I really want to strengthen the community spirit and leadership whilst also helping to develop and refine the skills of the coaches and athletes here in Melbourne and beyond. I’m confident by adding the clinic to the event we can achieve this.”

South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association Founder and tournament organiser, Manyang Berberi says,

“We are very excited about Luol Deng and his high school coach coming all the way from the United States mainly to support the kids at these events. The clinic will be great for all the young players. It means a lot to them. It shows Luol Deng’s commitment to helping the younger players that are coming up.”

Deng joins a long list of notable names who have competed in, or contributed to, the tournament in previous years. These names include former NBA player Manute Bol, former Perth Wildcat Mathiang Muo, LA Lakers draft pick Ater Majok and current Louisville Cardinals college player Mangok Mathiang.

The 2015 SSANC, held in partnership with Helping Hoops, Frankston Basketball Association and Basketball Victoria, culminates in the finals on Sunday, July 12, which will also feature the highly anticipated slam-dunk contest. A $5 fee per day will gain entry to the tournament, and raise money to ensure the volunteer-run South Sudanese Australian National Basketball Association can continue to put on events like the SSANC in future years.

The South Sudanese National Basketball Association would also like to thank Victoria Police for their support over the course of the tournament.

Volunteers are required for all three days of the SSANC across areas such as scoring, time keeping and general behind-the-scenes activities. To register as a volunteer, or for further information, please contact Adam McKay from Helping Hoops on 0433 857 875 or adam@helpinghoops.com.au.

South Sudanese Australian National Classic
What: South Sudanese Australian National Classic
When: July 10-12, 8am to 5pm
Media: Encouraged to attend Finals on Sunday, July 12 from 12pm to 5pm
Where: Frankston & District Basketball Association, 90 Bardia Avenue, Seaford VIC 3196
Cost: $5 entry per day
Luol Deng National Classic Clinic
July 9th: 9am to 3pm (Media invited from 2:30-3:30) FREE of charge for participants.
Short interview with Luol Deng and SSANC players

For media accreditation, please contact Karen Pearce:
03 9837 8000
0419 396 918
(e): karen.pearce@basketballvictoria.com.au