25 July 2013

UGANDA : Okias turns guns on old employers

Okias turns guns on old employers
Warriors’ Sam Gombya (left) puts pressure on Desmond Owili in the basketball League. Gombya will face Ndejje’s Steven Okiasi today
By Charles Mutebi
National Basketball League
Ndejje v Warriors
THIS is the day Steven Okiasi always feared. The day when he would take his signature jump-shot and infectious smile and turn them against the very team that made him famous.
But nightmares come true and today at the YMCA, Okiasi will face his own in the form of the Riham Warriors.
For the last 13 years, it was hard to think of the Warriors without Okiasi but that changed when he joined the Ndejje University Angels at the beginning of this season.
True, over the last two years, Okiasi became somewhat of a peripheral figure in FUBA’s elite league but the three-time scoring champion will always be associated with the club that was, until three weeks ago, known as the Kyambogo Warriors.
Only that now, the name on Okiasi’s jersey reads Ndejje and not Warriors. And today, the two teams clash in Airtel National Basketball League, fulfilling Okiasi’s worst nightmare.
“I always dreaded the possibility of playing against the Warriors,” Okiasi conceded.
“But at some point last season I saw it coming.”
The Warriors won their second FUBA championship last year but Okiasi’s contribution to the team was the smallest it had been in his time at the club. When he eventually left, therefore, it didn’t come as a big surprise.
So why did Okiasi leave the Warriors?
He explained: “I felt that the club had drifted away from the vision we always had of taking young players and developing them as part of a family.
In recent years, the club’s policy was to bring in established players like the Malingas and Norman Blick.
And I was asking myself, where is the future of the club? I just didn’t feel like the club was still true to its vision,” the player added.

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