Sport
Basketball legendary coach 'Smatts' passes on
Publish Date: Feb 03, 2014
Basketball legendary coach 'Smatts' passes on
The basketball fraternity will miss Olumbos wealth of knowledge of the game
  • mail
  • img
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
Olympic Committee goes for comparative advantage
Uganda Olympic Committee’s quest for medals on the big stage will have it concentrating on areas of strength....
Cricket groundsmen given training
Uganda Cricket Association has improved their focus on capacity building by training curators and coaches as a means of handling the players and offering them the best services....
Kobs to launch Olympic Games campaign
Midfielder Khalid Aucho has been ruled out of the 2016 Africa Olympic Games qualifier between Uganda Kobs and Rwanda....
Blatter v Prince Ali for FIFA job as Figo, van Praag exit
Luis Figo and Michael van Praag pulled out of the race for the FIFA presidency Thursday, leaving controversial incumbent Sepp Blatter in a straight fight with Jordan''s Prince Ali bin al Hussein....
Kira Young relegated after home loss
Kira Young FC will play in the FUFA Big League next season after crashing out of the Premier League thanks to defeat at home at the hands of Simba FC earlier this week....
SC Villa to play Young African in friendly match
Tanzanian Vodacom league gaints Young African have invited SC Villa for a friendly match later next month....
Should politicians be banned from addressing religious gatherings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter