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South Sudan plays first ever national basketball match

Passions rise as the Republic of South Sudan’s first national basketball game. Photographer Conor Ashleigh was there.

At a South Sudan basketball game. Photo cooyright Conor AshleighA young man from the Mandari tribe (centre) watches the Republic of South Sudan’s first national basketball game against Uganda.

Boy watching basketball game, South Sudan. Photo copyright Conor Ashleigh
A young man from rural South Sudan who recently arrived in Juba watches the basketball game from outside the school fence.At three-quarter time South Sudan had returned from 16 points down to trail just two goals behind Uganda. The South Sudanese onlookers climbed onto every vantage point and squeezed into every gap inside the school yard to watch the final quarter.

South Sudan basketball game. Photo copyright Conor Ashleigh
As the final seconds ticked down, South Sudan missed two final attempts at goal as the crowd anxiously looked on. The new national team eventually lost by 4 points.

All photos copyright Conor Ashleigh

Conor Ashleigh is a visual storyteller focusing on social and environmental stories that aren’t regularly heard about in traditional media. His photographs have been published in international publications and he regularly works on assignments for humanitarian organizations; he still believes in the power of images to create change.

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