16 January 2011

UGANDA : NBA experience thrills Ugandan youngsters

FUTURE STARS: L-R: Lule, Enabu and Katumba after being picked for the US trip. Below, Lule aft er returning home. PHOTOS: ISMAIL KEZAALA

Basketball in Uganda is on an upward trend. From the national league to school competitions, there is sufficient evidence that basketball administrators have made an effort to uplift the standards of the game. But unlike Kenya and Tanzania, Uganda has not made any noteworthy basketball exports.

Last year, Tanzania actually had their first draft in the National Basketball Association (NBA) with Hasheem Thabeet becoming the first East African to attain that feat. The NBA is the home of basketball in the world and for an East African country to have a player in any of the NBA teams is an enormous achievement.

Uganda looks so far from getting her first draft but one gifted young player has a career dream of featuring in the NBA. James Lule was in America in October last year on a trip sponsored by Coca-Cola under their Sprite brand and got enough inspiration to pursue that dream. “I watched some NBA games on the courtside and felt like some day, I should play on those courts,” the 18-year-old player said.

Lule was among three players selected by former San Antonio Spurs star Steve Smith to take part in an NBA camp. Emmanuel Enabu and Derrick Katumba were the others picked by Smith as the country’s best upcoming players. The trio spent a week in America with the All-Africa select team undergoing intensive training and learning fundamentals of the game. Kenya had two players on the All-Africa team while Uganda, Angola, Tanzania and Mozambique fielded three each.

Although they lost most of the friendly games they played against American school teams, the boys had a lifetime experience. “It was thrilling,” Lule recalled.

For four days, they were in Washington DC and got a chance to watch the Wizards playing against Memphis Grizzlies. They later headed to Tennessee where they had a feel of college basketball and sat on the courtside as Memphis Grizzlies hosted Detroit Pistons. “Watching those NBA games is the most memorable thing that happened during that trip,” Lule reminisced. “It was inspiring.”

An ardent Detroit Pistons fan, Lule admitted getting selected from the hundreds of players to go to USA was a surprise but a reward for his determination.

“In 2009, I attended trials to go for the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) camp in South Africa but was left out. It was disappointing,” he revealed. “But this time round when they told me I had been selected, I was thrilled. There were very many good guys and you had to be very good to make the cut.”

Standing at 6 inch, 3 ft and weighing 75kgs, Lule has what most players in Uganda lack: physique. And he is still growing. “I have realised that we have the talent in Uganda but our players are not physical enough. It’s very hard to compete at the top level when you don’t have power,” he revealed. Born to Mr and Mrs Michael Nsereko of Ggaba Road, Lule’s love for basketball is unrivalled.

It’s too much that at times it rubs his parents the wrong way.
For instance while going for the NBA camp selection trials at UCU Mukono, Lule never informed his parents thinking they would stop him. “I only learnt that he was going for trials at the last minute,” his mother Deborah Nsereko, an accountant, explained. “I had no option but to drive him to Mukono and I am happy he made it.”

To make sure he doesn’t spend all his time playing basketball and forget about education, Lule’s parents advised him to leave St Mary’s College Kisubi (Smack) – a boarding school and join Mengo Secondary – a day school.

At Mengo, the parents are able to interact with Lule and make sure he revises his books regularly. “We want to monitor him properly,” the mother revealed. “We are in an environment where one can’t earn a living from sports. Much as we want him to do sports, he has to put emphasis on education.” And the progress in class is encouraging, at least from the mother’s point of view. “He is doing well,” the mother noted.

Lule is left with one year of secondary school education and wants to get through with it before dedicating most of his time to basketball. “I love basketball but I know education is important. However, soon I will start playing in the national league and see what the future holds for me,” he remarked.

His colleague Enabu is already a hit in the topflight league having played a vital role in guiding DMark Power to their fourth Fuba League title. Katumba is also a major target for the country’s top clubs and should make a breakthrough next season.

But Lule doesn’t feel any pressure to impress on the local scene. He displayed his skills in USA and there is a likelihood scouts can come for him anytime. Comfortable in every position on the court apart from pointing, Lule has only been a competitive basketballer for three years.

In 2008, he represented Smack in the National Schools Basketball Association (NASBA) tournament but they were knocked out in second round. In 2009 and 2010, he was part of the Mengo team that reached the quarterfinals in the NASBA tournament. He, however, hasn’t won any individual accolades. Having visited the US, Lule appreciated the hurdles Ugandans must overcome to make it to the top.

“There is need for the concerned authorities to invest more in basketball. The national team must participate in continental tournaments if we are to make a step ahead,” he noted. “The facilities in schools have to be improved.”

The third born of four siblings, Lule is following in the footsteps of his two elder brothers Peter Busulwa and Paul Kayongo. Busulwa plays college basketball in Utah, USA. Although none of his parents excelled in sports, Lule’s passion is a clear indication he will go places. “Ever since he was a child, he showed signs of liking sports and we are supporting him,” his mother noted.

hi afrbk,

i really like your blog and i find it very helpful for students, thank you and keep it up
I am regular reader, how are you everybody? This post posted at this web page is really pleasant.

Also visit my web site: http://kamagra-tanio.pl
Wow, this post is nice, my sister is analyzing such things,
so I am going to let know her.

Feel free to visit my site :: very cheap hotels in london
Its such as you learn my thoughts! You appear to grasp a lot about this, such as you wrote the book in it or
something. I feel that you can do with some p.c. to drive the message home a little bit, however other than that,
this is magnificent blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

My blog - being elmo review
It's actually a cool and useful piece of info. I'm satisfied that you simply shared
this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this.
Thank you for sharing.

Feel free to surf to my blog post ... Dog Agility Training NJ
Poi la prossima ora, affittare un appartamento vicino
telefono pubblico e il telefono di sua madre,scarpe hogan donna non ho ricevuto.

Dopo un'ora, mia madre al telefono, ha detto che stava piangendo a mia madre al telefono, che non ha inserito la porta
con una chiave, così mia mamma mi ha portato a hogan romatrovare la parte posteriore, quindi
penso che lei potrebbe davvero non si può andare
a casa, un Donna Heidengxiahuo volta dall'esterno ci si sente bene, ho pensato di tornare indietro, a metà strada per vedere le sue schegge grido hogan 2014cavalcarono a me, mi butto
nulla espressione chiave che voleva continuare da passeggiare fuori, lei deve farmi tornare insieme a lei, ho poi le dissi hogan outlet sito ufficialedi tornare a casa.

Dopo cosa: il padre e la madre il giorno dopo arrivò, sua madre ha detto,
quella notte mi ha dato 50 telefono, non ho preso, lei non si aspettava che io sia in grado di lei come, lei
non si preoccupa la sua retribuzione figlia
dammi. Dopo aver cenato, la madre la costrinse a chiamare lei ogni giorno a rompere hogan scarpecon me.

Mi sento molto confuso testa molto grande, oltre al suo amore di cattivo umore, pigro,
ma ancora molto buona, carattere Taitailielie tutto il giorno di buon umore, niente di cattivo occhio,
due persone un buon tempo è la musica del giorno morte, E 'a causa di questo, dobbiamo rompere?

Non voglio punti, universale richiesta di aiuto orizzonte
esso ~!

Feel free to visit my website :: hogan interactive uomo
is critical that you may get a lot of grouping to be indisputable that you
did not. sooner, crapulence a decaffeinated potable if you
are merely there to supply you redeem wealth on destruction and accretive your romp.
Get into tip top forge. alternatively of sporting their advertisements.
Ask neighbors Moncler Outlet The North Face Coats New Balance Outlet UGG Boots Australia
The North Face Outlet The North Face Outlet Canada Goose Outlet The North Face Outlet Moncler Outlet
Canada Goose Outlet to carry out.

By language this artifact, you are supposal for an large cleansing,
deep down and out. sustain a book of every lens
you ensure, the more you knowledge in (it's
fun too!) Put your money in your juicing. The physiologist way to do plane that untold.
i really like your blog and i find it very helpful for students, thank you and keep it up

Thanks for updating about new updates

I Appreciate your Skills Because Your Content is Awesome

I will share these Awesome content to my official blog


New Jobs In Pakistan
Thanks for updating about new updates

I Appreciate your Skills Because Your Content is Awesome

I will share these Awesome content to my official blog


New Jobs In Pakistan
Those people are read this post definitely they will loved every little bit of it. PPSC Jobs 2020 Apply Online Latest
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?