Silverbacks set for Afrobasket qualifiers

Wainwright will be lead the Silverbacks' quest for a return to the Afrobasket. PHOTO/COURTSEY 

What you need to know:

The forward turns out for Kansas State Wildcats and will not make the the trip.

The last time the Silverbacks took part in the Fiba Afrobasket, they defied the odds to finish sixth in Kigali, Rwanda, in 2021.

Close to three years later, the side will be looking to get back to the same stage when the qualifiers tip off in Tunisia on February 23.

A 13-man squad has been named to start the campaign and will come up against familiar opponents in the shape of Nigeria and Cape Verde.

Uganda faced and defeated Nigeria at Afrobasket but fell to Cape Verde in the quarterfinals.

One of Morocco or Libya will complete Group B.

In the team named, NBA star Ishmail Wainright, who was recently waived by the Portland Trailblazers, is the biggest name. 

Adam Seiko, only featured for Uganda at Afrobasket, is among those making a return to the group.

Robinson Opong, Emmanuel Womala and Brandon Ssebirumbi are the other foreign based players on the team.

Big time absentees

With the NCCA March Madness just around the corner, the Silverbacks will be without star player Arthur Kaluma.

The forward turns out for Kansas State Wildcats and will not make the the trip.

Team captain Jimmy Enabu is the other high-profile absentee. 

Head coach George Galanapolous is also among the absentees, leaving Mandy Juruni and Andrew Tendo as the two men in charge.

City Oilers quartet of Fayed Baale, Titus Odeke, James Okello, Tony Drileba and Ivan Muhwezi will be joined by KIU Titians duo of Edgar Munaba and Stanley Mugerwa, UCU Canons’ Joel Kayiira to complete the roster.

Qualification Process 

Twenty national teams, divided into five groups of four will tussle it out, with each team facing an opponent in the group twice in a tournament format over three windows all through to 2025.

After the games in Tunisia, Uganda will wait for the return legs to be played between February 17th and 25th, 2025.

16 teams will qualify for Africa's premier basketball competition. 

Silverbacks roster 

Ishmail Wainright, Fayed Baale, Titus Odeke, James Okello, Tony Drileba, Ivan Muhwezi, Edgar Munaba, Stanley Mugerwa, Robinson Opong, Emmanuel Womala, Brandon Ssebirumbi, Adam Seiko 

Head Coach: Mandy Juruni 

Assistant Head Coach: Andrew Tendo