Deshi Ballers, a female-led sports development organisation working to create a platform for Bangladeshi women and girls to be empowered through basketball, hosted the third season of their International Women's Day 3x3 Basketball Tournament at Madani Avenue, Dhaka, recently. The tournament was sponsored by Save & Serve Foundation.
The day kicked off with an inaugural ceremony. Meher Afroz Chumki, Member of Parliament, attended the inaugural ceremony as the chief guest. Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator, Earl R Miller, US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Rosalee LaPlante Foreign Policy and Diplomatic Services, Shoko Ishikawa Country Representative, UN Women, and Syed Tayabul Bashar Chairman, Save & Serve Foundation were present as special guests.
The tournament had two sections where girls and boys of all age groups and skill levels participated. Along with competitive games, participants also took part in challenges like free throw contest, 3-point shootout, and a coed all-star game being hosted in the tournament for the first time. Sixteen girls' teams and twelve boys' teams took part in the tournament.
"We organise this tournament every year to celebrate the participation of women in basketball and to make a stand for equal rights in sports," said Ashreen Mridha, who founded Deshi Ballers with Gulnahar Mahbub Monika in 2018. "This year, we included boys to showcase that progress for women cannot happen without boys on our side. We hope this gesture of inclusion will help us develop women's basketball together."
The day concluded with an award-giving ceremony where Nahim Razzaq was present as the chief guest and Syed Tayabul Bashar was present as the special guest.
The winners of the boys' tournament are Boomshakalaka (Champions), Rain (first runners up), and Aces White (second runners up). Tareq Aziz (Boomshakalaka) won the MVP award while Tareq Aziz (Boomshakalaka) was the top scorer. Ibrahim Mohammad (Boomshakalaka) won the award for best defense while Romel Rasha Gomes (Rain) won the Playmaker Award.
The winners of the girls' tournament are Old School (champion), Last Minute (first runners up), and Shooting Stars (second runners up). Aryah Jamil (Shooting Stars) and Umama Zillur (Last Minute) won the MVP award and Playmaker Award, respectively. Crystal Pottebaum (Old School) was the top scorer while Manar Tanvir (Shooting Stars) received the award for best defense.
Crystal Pottebaum (Old School) won the Free Throw Contest and Romel Rasha Gomes (Rain) won the 3-point Shootout.