Ariel Okall is a winner. Even when he falls short, he takes pride in leaving everything on the floor whenever he gets a chance to play basketball.
The Kenya Morans forward recently joined Kampala International University Titans for the short league season after his stint with AlBashaer of Oman was cut short by suspension of sports to combat the spread of the Covid-19 in the Middle East nation.
The spell with the Titans marks a return to Uganda for the self-proclaimed “Doctor” having featured for Falcons in the 2015 season.
KIU reached out upon his return to Kenya and the two parties reached a compromise for the star to board the plane and help the Titans challenge Oilers for this year’s championship.
“I’m all about winning and the end goal is a championship,” Okall told Daily Monitor in an exclusive interview. “A championship quest is hard and we have to operate like a well-oiled machine.”
Titans have such high hopes in the Kenyan international that they played him before a single training session with the side – in a 66-58 loss to Dolphins. The former Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) big man only managed five points and six rebounds.
He added eight points and seven rebounds in the Titans’ 85-78 win over UCU Canons on Sunday.
At KIU, Okall joins a group of players he has a history with. Both Michael Bwanga and Faisal Aden played with the 31-year-old at KPA in the 2019 Basketball Africa League qualifiers. The trio have to lead KIU in their search for a first ever championship.
Appreciating the challenge posed by seven-time winners is the first step to winning the league and Okall knows how tough this task is.
“We’ve a long way to go. We need everyone healthy and focused then we can go all the way,” Okall said.
Coach Brian Wathum is excited by what the ‘Doctor’ brings to the side.
“I’m glad he’s with us. He is such a big addition and we expect a lot from him,” the tactician said.
Alongside Stanley Mugerwa and compatriot Oscar Muge, Okall will be expected to take care of business in the paint, crush the board for defensive rebounds and second chance points at the other end.
National B’ball League
KIU Rangers 46-62 KCCA
Stormers 64-95 JKL
Blazers 73-68 Ndejje
UCU Canons 78-85 KIU Titans