16 December 2013

UGANDA : Juruni’s magic wand becomes unstoppable

Many Juruni. He led City Oilers to their maiden basketball league title.
Many Juruni. He led City Oilers to their maiden basketball league title.To the City Oilers’ management team, Mandy Juruni is the best basketball coach in Uganda, lest their general manager Silver Rugambwa might add “by far.” They are not shy about their praise for Juruni. “We have the best coach in the country – he is the national team coach,” club president Mohammed Ghedi emphasized.
There is a lot you can use to back the soft-spoken Juruni. On Friday, he led Oilers to their first national title in their first season in the Airtel National Basketball League.
Oilers beat record champions Falcons 74-62 for a 4-3 series result. This title is a totally new feeling for a club formed only two years ago but not for Juruni. This is his fifth crown in all having won with Makerere Sparks (2003 as an assistant coach), KCCA Leopards (2007) and UCU Lady Canons (2010), in the women’s league, and Riham Warriors last year.Juruni has now led a team to the playoff finals for four years running. “The best thing is to understand your team’s strength and the players,” Juruni said. “It’s (this title) very sweet,” Juruni, who was part of the Charging Rhino team that won the league in 2007, said.
“Every championship is different but this was the biggest challenge personally to coach a team that had just come up. “I am lucky may be.”
The next challenge will be how Juruni rebuilds next season after ‘big man’ Kami Kabange has left. It helps that Juruni, a brilliant point guard in his heyday at Kitante Hill School, Rhino and KIU Titans, coaches the most organized team
Besides Juruni, the players, Ghedi and Rugambwa, cannot under score the unsung hero of this team, Grace Kwizera, himself a peripheral player.
“Grace is the emotional leader of the team,” club captain Andrew Tendo, himself rarely active, noted. Kwizera, who wasn’t on the bench for Game Seven, is often seen taking care of anyone hurt or just talking to lift their spirits.

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