11 January 2008

UGANDA : Fuba Keen to Better Fortunes

2007 was a great year for local basketball. A few controversies might have reared their ugly heads, but largely there was a lot to smile about.

Falcons' come-from-behinds wins over UCU Canons and Kyambogo Warriors in the final will linger on in the memory of many fans.

Local basketball body FUBA will be hoping that 2008 even better the fortunes that 2007 brought along.

And although the basketball players have gone into hibernation until March 2008, projection into 2008 will draw the picture of what to expect.

The basketball administrative rules and by-laws must be streamlined if not synchronized with those of the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA). Last year, several controversies arose. A case in point is the Louis Habineza and Falcons matter that ended with the former being given the all-clear to feature in the play-offs.

Such controversies left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. 2008 looks set to walk the same path. Already, FUBA is embattled with the likely resignation of Peter Mubanda, a committee member because of matters related to rule interpretation.

In addition, having a better surface court for the safety of the players is one thing FUBA boss Ambrose Tashobya promised to work on but it's still pending. Ready First Aid at all games is still a rarity. With the risk facing players as a result, you expect that a second year in office for the current FUBA will sort this.
The year 2007 manifested quality in the game with improvement especially in the women's display. The unpredictability has made the game very competitive and as such the excitement is expected to continue in 2008. Teams like KIU men, Miracle and Nkumba should bounce back to make the men's title race more mouth-watering. All these teams have quality players who are potential match-winners.

Come March, players like Makmot Orom (KIU), Judith Nansubuga (KIU Rangers), Dorothy Kanyonyuzi and Mercy Kasobya (Victoria Lakers), Joshua Etalu and Nelson Wafula (Warriors), Joseph Ikong and Joseph Mugenyi (Makerere Heaters), Mariam Tamale (Nabisunsa) John Musoke, Jimmy Enabu and Collins Mukiza (Knight-Riders), Assumpta Nakabugo and Mary Kissa (Lady-Bucks), Sunday Okot (Charging Rhinos) plus Francis Tumusiime (Falcons) and Steven Mwesige (Sadolin Power) are expected to light up the league.

However, with hitches still evident in many players' technical ability, development of coaches is imperative. FUBA should also institute a youth development structure. Surely, all this shouldn't be so much to ask for since Tashobya promised to erect such structures. A promise will always be a debt.

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