For their exploits in making the quarterfinals of the Fiba Afrobasket earlier this month, the Silverbacks have started seeing doors opened for them. On Friday, it was the door of Bulange, Mengo, where Buganda Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga hosted and interacted with the team for two hours.
Led by Fuba president Nasser Sserunjogi and General Secretary Hudson Ssegamwenge, the team was lauded for flying Uganda’s flag in Kigali.
“We appreciate your efforts in representing Uganda,” Mayiga said and called on government to invest in sports, citing examples of former football stars Sammy Kuffor (Ghana) and Jay-Jay Okocha (Nigeria) who took their wealth back to their native countries.
Team captain Jimmy Enabu, James Okello, Ben Komakech, Tonny Drileba, Titus Odeke and Ivan Muhwezi are the players who made the journey to Mengo alongside team managers Hajj Mohammed Santur and Grace Kwizera.
Cry for help
If there is a lesson Uganda must pick off neighbours Rwanda, it is the importance of having sports facilities in place. Rwanda has already hosted the Basketball Africa League and the Fiba Afrobasket championship, thanks to the 10,000 seater Kigali Arena.
Fuba solicited for support in form of land, with Sserunjogi telling the Katikkiro that there are well-wishers who would be willing to construct a standard facility if there was land in place.
The federation also floated the idea of an annual basketball tournament to celebrate the Kabaka’s birthday, as well as Masaza and Bika basketball tournaments to help spread the game.
Sserunjogi told Daily Monitor the federation is exploring different ideas to take the sport to the next level.
“We need to have strategic partnerships with resourceful organisations. We can’t rely on only government to develop this game,” he said.