Sport
Basketball legendary coach 'Smatts' passes onPublish Date: Feb 03, 2014
Basketball legendary coach 'Smatts' passes on
  • mail
  • img
The basketball fraternity will miss Olumbos wealth of knowledge of the game
newvision

By Charles Mutebi
 
The mastermind of the Falcons' last national basketball league championship is dead.
 
Kenyan Thomas 'Smatts' Olumbo lost his long battle with illness Saturday at Nairobi's Mbagathi's Hospital, taking with him a wealth of basketball knowledge that was the envy of Zone Five.
 
Olumbo is arguably Kenya's greatest coach, with a bevy of local and regional achievements spanning over two decades. But in Uganda, Smatts will always be remembered for his magical act in the Falcons run to the 2007 FUBA men's top division title.
 
Underdogs from onset of the 2007 playoffs, the Falcons were on the brink of elimination after losing Game 1 of the best-of-three semi-finals by over 20 points to overwhelming favourites UCU Canons.
 
New on the scene, UCU employed a stifling full-court press that had bamboozled the entire league, giving Jason Mehl's team a division-best 17-1 record at the end of the regular season.
 
When UCU humbled the Falcons 71-49 in Game 1, the series seemed finished. Enter Olumbo. Falcons' owner John Simbwa - now also deceased - called on his friend, who was in the middle of his own coaching engagements in Kenya.
 
Olumbo spent a week with the Falcons ahead of Game 2 and was on the bench as Eric Malinga and company shattered UCU's vaunted press and their title hopes to win the series 2-1. The Falcons subsequently fell 2-0 behind the Kyambogo Warriors in the finals.
 
But again, the Falcons rallied, this time winning three on the trot to claim a record sixth title.
 
"He had a great impact (on our title run)," recalls Malinga, who was part of the team.

"He was very inspirational. By the time you walked out of a training session, you had 10 times more belief than before. He was very insightful and knew how to use his team's strength against the opponents' weaknesses".
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Confident Nanyondo cruises to final
Winnie Nanyondo kept her Commonwealth Games medal dream alive, after easing through heat two and finishing among the direct three qualifiers to Friday’s final....
Massa out of Cranes fixture against Mauritania
Cranes will negotiate their second leg Nations Cup preliminary qualifier against Mauritania on Sunday without lead striker Geoffrey Massa and most likely first choice goalkeeper Denis Onyango....
Uganda U-17 arrive in Rwanda
The Uganda National U-17 team safely arrived in Gisenyi City Thursday where they are expected to honour their Africa Youth Soccer Championship qualifier against Rwanda on Friday....
KCCA FC refuse to honour Super Cup fixture
The FUFA Super Cup scheduled for Saturday is in balance after league champions KCCA FC insisted that they will not honour the fixture....
Glasgow 2014: Kipsiro may pullout of 10000m race
Serving in war torn Somalia ‘s peace keeping mission is considered as one of the riskiest ventures.UPDF sergeant Mike Sekabembe is one of those lucky fighters who have managed to come out of the troubled Horn of Africa alive....
Uganda gets another boxing medal
Despite not having any qualified coach, Uganda boxers continued to shine with Juma Kaggwa assuring the nation of another medal after he advanced to the semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland....
Should private schools and institutions be given tax exemption?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter