What you need to know:
- Good Growth. But for Nantongo, the sky is the limit. The supersonic centre and charismatic offensive force originally played netball until coach Chris Kijjambu scouted her.
One way or another, St Mary’s SS Kitende basketball standout Sylvia Nantongo eyed a career on the big stage. After winning the ForteBet-sponsored Real Star Awards yesterday at Route 256 Restaurant in Lugogo, Nantongo was overjoyed.
After helping the women’s basketball to a 3-1 mark in the FIBA U18 Women’s Africa Championship Zone 5 qualifier in Kampala, Nantongo was voted the best basketballer of June.
The Gazelles, as the team is called, defeated Tanzania 63-43 in the deciding game to emerge champions.
Nantongo, 18, finished with a game-high of 17 points, she added 11 rebounds, and two assists in addition to three blocks as Uganda closed the regional qualifier with nine points to top the table. Michael Alunga, one of Uganda’s most promising young amateur golfers, ranked third on the Kenyan amateur circuit, was awarded as the best in golf in absentia.
Alunga beat Kenyans to the KGU Chairman’s prize tournament top cash prize at Sigona Golf Club. He also finished third at the Zambian Open and second at the Coronation & Bendor Trophy Tournament in Nakuru.
Uganda’s top batsman in the second round of the Challenge League B with 202 runs in five innings Simon Ssesaazi, won the best cricketer category while Rachael Chebet Zena, who won a silver medal in 10,000 metres at the Africa Senior Championship in Mauritius was declared the best in athletics.
Lady Doves and Crested Cranes striker Fazila Ikwaput, who scored in each of the games at Cecafa
Championship was the best in football. She scored six goals and named MVP as Uganda won the CECAFA Women’s Championship.The monthly awards celebrate the best performers across sporting activities in the country.
Uganda Athletics Federation (UAF) president Domenic Otucet, who was the special guest at this month’s event, said the awards are motivating more people to work harder.
Sky the limit
But for Nantongo, the sky is the limit. The supersonic centre and charismatic offensive force originally committed to play netball while still studying at Mukono SS. St Mary’s Kitende basketball coach Chris Kijjambu scouted her during the 2018 USSSA Ball Games at Mvara SS in Arua before the shooter was converted into basketball where she plays as the five for her school and the national team.
But after just three years, she is committed to basketball which she says is her passion.
“I’m really just looking forward to getting the best out of basketball. I am happy that all the hard work I’ve put in finally paid off,” said the multi-talented athlete.
She is now eying the 2022 FIBA U18 Africa Women’s Championship that will take place in Antananarivo, Madagascar between July 23 and August 1.
“This award motivates me to work extra hard as I now see a bright future ahead of me,” she said.
ForteBet Real Stars
JUNE MONTHLY AWARDS
Golf: Michael Alunga
Cricket: Simon Ssesaazi
Basketball: Sylvia Nantongo
Football: Fazila Ikwaput
Athletics: Rachel Zena Chebet