02 July 2013

UGANDA : FUBA hunt for stars in Europe

FUBA hunt for stars in Europe
by Charles Mutebi

National Basketball League

Men: Kyambogo 71 Heaters 58
Ndejje 68 V’terian 31

Women: KCCA 71 Gladiators 30
A1 53 Nabisunsa 32

With the inaugural basketball World Cup just a year away, Team Uganda have begun the worldwide task of scouting for players with a Ugandan heritage to lead the improbable quest for a maiden appearance at the global showpiece.
And the initial phase has unearthed four players — Patrick Nyeko, Marial Dhal, Jean-Marc Mwema and Kassim Nagwere — and more could follow, as FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya explained.
“There are so many Ugandans playing basketball in the diaspora who should come down and help us,” said Tashobya.
At this point, no contact has been made with any of the said four players so it is unknown whether they are interested in playing for Uganda.
What is known is that they have Ugandan genes and that is a good place to start.

Nyeko, who plays for the University of Nevada in the USA, is born and bred in London but the 24 year-old 6ft 6” guard has Ugandan parents. And so is Marial Dhal, who is currently trying to get into the America’s Development League after completing a year at America’s Canisus College (2010-2011). At 7ft 3”, Dhal is the tallest player in Canisus College history as well as the MAAC Division.
Mwema (pictured) plays for Antwerp in Belgium’s elite Etias league but his availability may be in question as his club website lists the 6ft 4” forward as a Belgian national. Nagwere plays for Fryshuset in Sweden’s second tier and the 6ft 2” shooter-guard is listed on the club website as Ugandan-Swedish.
According to Tashobya: “The plan is to identify as many foreign-based players as possible and take them to Egypt for a camp, from where we will choose only four. Then combine the four with eight local players to form the national team.”
Uganda will need to win next year’s FIBA Africa Zone Five Qualifiers, to be held in Kampala, then finish among the top four teams at the continental Afrobasket Championship to reach the basketball World Cup, which will be held in Spain.

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