The Never-ending Basketball Dream – South Sudan Wheelchair Basketball Team

Juba, the capital of South Sudan. On an open-air basketball court, Malat Wey took South Sudanese wheelchair basketball team players to dribble, pass, lay up, and sweat like rain …

By the court, messy prosthetics and crutches scattered on the ground, silently complaining about these players and the injuries suffered in this country-many players were disabled due to injuries in the battle.

On November 26, players were trained on the court in Juba, South Sudan. Photo by Xinhua News Agency reporter Wang Teng

Eight years ago, war-torn South Sudan declared independence. Here is rich in oil resources, but it is also “cursed” by resources, with constant conflicts, and is one of the least developed countries in the world.

Malat, 25, a professional wheelchair basketball player in the United States. Since last year, he has come to South Sudan every offseason to coach disabled basketball players in a wheelchair basketball training camp organized by the ICRC.

Malate was born in what is now South Sudan’s Boma State. Malat was paralyzed due to polio. When his father disappeared at the age of 3, he and four siblings followed his mother to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He came to the United States at the age of 12 and was first exposed to wheelchair basketball at the age of 14. He was later selected for the U23 National Wheelchair Basketball Team.

David Cuani was a soldier. In a military clash 17 years ago, he was shot through by a bullet in his right leg. After retiring, he lived on fishing and selling fish until he joined the wheelchair basketball team three years ago.

Last year, Kuani and his teammates held a friendly match with the Uganda wheelchair basketball team. The competition attracted more than 500 spectators, and his seven children also came to the scene to cheer on his father.