11 August 2008

UGANDA : U-18 Qualifiers a Diamond in the Rough

by Charles Mutebi

THE U-18 African Basketball Championship qualifiers began yesterday with as much excitement and attention as would be provoked by the fall of the first annual snowball in Iceland.

But as chance openings go, the event is a great opportunity silently standing by waiting to be recognised.

FUBA may be overwhelmed with the impending possibility of failing to raise the sh54m needed to fund the event, which is a wonder in itself since the federation should have known what it could chew before biting this thing off.
But now, attention should be turned on squeezing as much juice as possible from the event. That juice is of course what winning the qualifiers might herald for Uganda's next-to-non-existent national team structures.
If either or both of Uganda's boys and girls, win their competition(s), thereby becoming the first teams to represent Uganda at such a major event as the continental championship, the seeds for having Uganda's senior teams compete at this elite level in the future would have been sown.
Obviously whether the vision needed to carry through such a dream in the event is there is a totally different question but it has to be assumed that FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya, the man responsible for lodging Uganda's successful bid for this event, bears such ambitions
In the meantime, the immediate task is as pre-eminent as it is mysterious since little is known of the three boys' and two girls' teams Uganda will be competing against.

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