WAISAL Basketball Tournament Reflections

Simon Ensing: 10th Grader, Forward

From Wednesday the 3rd of February, until Sunday the 7th, the AISB basketball team went to a basketball tournament in Dakar, Senegal. I think the tournament and everything around it was very well organized. The host family in which I stayed was simply outstanding. They were very nice and always eager to help with anything needed. The schedule of the tournament was clear. Lunch was good and the lemonade even better! Everybody at the school was very polite and nice to our team. I hoped for a little bit more food from the barbecue, and the all-star award ceremony and all-star game weren't very clearly organized. Other then that, I, and the rest of the team too, had a wonderful time in Dakar and found it an amazing experience.

Axel Ganga: 10th Grader, Forward
WAISAL was a great experience. It permitted me to learn more about other people’s cultures and get some new friends. It also led me to understand more things about the ways of living of people from different cultural backgrounds. WAISAL let us unite with a large part of West Africa. To unite for a short amount of time to have one friendly competition is a great idea. It also led me to meet some old friends and teachers, because in international schools, it is common to have friends a bit all over. The competition let us introduce each other and our values to one another to learn more and have fun. Overall WAISAL was an amazing experience that I would do again and again if I had the choice.

Cheick Kone: 11th Grader, Guard

My WAISAL experience was a really fun and memorable one. This is my 4th WAISAL experience in total, but my first basketball WAISAL trip. It was a new experience for me because I got to see a different sport that WAISAL has to offer and the great athletes we have in West Africa. I would never forget how nice our host was and how well they took care of me. I also got to see Dakar again; it had been a while since I went there last. I really enjoyed going to the beach. We also went to the Mall and I was able to acquire a couple things I couldn’t get here in Mali. The main reason I enjoy WAISAL is because it bring different schools together and allows us to make some new friends in a fun and dynamic manner.

Yannick Nelen: 12th Grader, Center

As a senior this is the last WAISAL I will be able to go to. It was a very pleasant experience. Although we came in fifth, the experience will stay with me for a lifetime. I've gone to many WAISAL tournaments, but this was my favorite. It was both competitive and fun. Overall WAISAL has always been full of good experiences such as: being able to see your old friends again, meeting new people, travelling and discovering new things. I haven't gone to a WAISAL in two years and have really missed doing all these things. Luckily for me, my senior year I was able to go again and have even more fun than I did the other times!

Achille Niyonzima: 11th Grader, Guard

Was this our first match ever? Yes. Were we as prepared as the other teams? Not even close. We didn’t know what to expect. Our first game, 40 minutes running time, was against the International School of Abuja (ISA). We didn’t think we were going to win all of our matches, but we weren’t also going to get beaten easily. Shaking our nervousness away, Fouss, Yannick, Idrissa, Simon, Axel, Cheick and I got ready for the first of many challenges that were to come. We won our first game 13-8.

Idriss Sanogo: 11th Grader, Guard

I found WAISAL to be a great experience and even though we came in fifth place, I think we should have been in at least third place. Yet, it’s okay because those were our first six matches ever. I think we really grew as a team and we had a lot of memorable moments. WAISAL proved to be a great bonding experience between the team and our coaches. The only thing I’d change is that we start training for WAISAL earlier so we can come in to a better place next year. I can’t wait for next year’s WAISAL.

Fousseiny Diallo: 10th Grader

WAISAL this year was a very interesting event for me because it was my first high school tournament. I had gone to previous ones when in middle school. Overall during the tournament we had a lot of losses against other teams, but the thing that I liked the most is that we didn’t lose hope. We kept playing and never gave up on each other and that’s very important in sports because you can never always win. We ended up fifth, which was not bad taking into account that we had never played any actual games as a team before.

Anyways, overall the trip was amazing! We visited the mall, we went to a restaurant and had lunch as a team, we went out with our hosts and ate at restaurants with them, and we had bonding experiences with other people from different backgrounds. We got to know many people and it was very interesting. If we had to do this trip again, I would not change one single second about it, except the losing.