Growing up in Gugulethu, SA basketball player Vincent Ntunja was a natural on the sports field. “Coming from Gugs became my force to succeed. If you survive the township life, you’re bound to succeed anywhere on planet earth,” says Vincent. He’s grateful to his supportive family who encouraged him to get an education while he pursues his basketball career.
He also models, presented a segment on SABC 1’s “Slam Dunk” and is a brand representative for Bronx Men’s footwear. Giving back is important to the star who is involved in Hoops for Hope, an international NGO that uses basketball to reach out to underprivileged kids. He’s also proud of the basketball court in the heart of the Gugulethu sport centre which is named after him. “Despite my own achievements, my mission is to continue to make a difference in people's lives in the best possible way”.
“My basketball achievements have gone way beyond my expectations. Getting to meet basketball icon Michael Jordan and winning the Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) out of 500 kids at his camp in Los Angeles rates as one of my top achievements”.
Vincent’s advice for aspiring basketball players
• Because the sport is not familiar in SA like rugby and cricket it’s important to have passion and perseverance because the odds might be against you.
• There's no substitute for hard work, I believe I was meant to be where I am but I’m always conscious of the hard work it took to get me there.