Final chance for hoops stars
Posted Friday, January 11 2013 at 02:00
Basketball. The American coach will not interfere with the teams’ final selection but will be expected to offer advice.
US-based coach Paul Johnson is expected in the country today to watch the final practice game of the national teams ahead of the Fiba Africa Zone V Championship.
“Johnson will arrive at midday so he can watch the games in Lugogo later on in the day,” Fuba president Ambrose Tashobya confirmed. “He is not here to change everything.”
The two national teams – men and women – are scheduled to play their final warm up games at the Lugogo MTN Arena against select sides today.
According to the University of South Alabama where Johnson was men’s basketball assistant coach from September 2010, he resigned after one year in the job. His impressive CV sourced from www.usajaguars.com is of a vastly experienced coach with attention to detail and statistical analysis.
The players won’t be playing for him tonight. Head coaches Mandy Juruni and Timothy Odeke will use these 40 minutes to settle down on the final 12.
Not so many big selection decisions are expected as both coaches have had only 14 players to work with this week.
Four have dropped off from each. From the trial game on Tuesday which Team Uganda edged the Select side 70-68 through Geoffrey Soro’s 20 points, 10 slots are almost decided barring a miracle. It’s two of Joseph Ikong, Peter Elungat, Ivan Rumanyika, Moses Olobo and the Enabu brothers – Jimmy, Ivan and Emmanuel – who will make the final team.
Thereafter, Johnson along with the trident of coaches assigned to either team will hold session together over the next week before the January 21-27 tournament in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Odeke’s team won their practice game 67-43. “We shall make our final decision on the composition of the final 12 on Saturday,” Odeke, also KCCA Leopards coach, said.