Sport
Solving the puzzle that is Desmond OwiliPublish Date: Mar 18, 2014
Solving the puzzle that is Desmond Owili
  • mail
  • img
For all his brilliance on the court, Owili has had several run ins with authorities. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo
newvision

By Charles Mutebi

UCU Invitational

Men

UCU 77 City Oil 65

Women

UCU 81 KIU 58

Third place playoff

Men

KIU 56 Ndejje 38

Women

Angels 24 Canons B 22

ZUKU Basketball League

Men

Makerere 50 UMU 40

Women

Makerere 76 UMU 17

How do you solve a problem like Desmond Owili? 

It is a question Owili’s fans, team-mates, opponents, coaches and local basketball body FUBA have asked themselves, several times.

Over the weekend it was the turn of UCU Canons’ opponents as Owili helped the hosts win their preseason invitational tournament, defeating defending champions City Oil 77-65 in the final.

Owili’s impact was telling, helping to contain City Oil mega star Kami Kabange as UCU broke off in the fourth quarter to avenge last year’s final defeat. 

But even as Owili rattled the rims with his power dunks, a cloud of uncertainty hung heavy in the Mukono air. For all of his enviable strength, Owili is powerless in the face of the one-year ban he incurred for allegedly shoving FUBA referee Peter Kirabo during last year’s National Basketball League (NBL) playoffs. 

FUBA came down hard on Owili after Kirabo made an official complaint to the FUBA disciplinary committee.

Yet the ban never laid the matter to rest, firstly because Kirabo was the accuser and sole witness in the case, something UCU always said left the allegation standing on weak legs. 

Secondly, and this was reinforced with the applause Owili received when he made his debut at the Friday Night Lights last week, is the argument that forcing Owili out of the NBL – which is effectively what the one-year ban is tantamount to – may not necessarily be a smart move.   

From the standpoint of the NBL’s profile, Owili is a unique asset, with an imposing stature and in-game thunderous dunks that have no equal. Like him or hate him, the Kenya centre is a star attraction. 

In other words, he is not the kind of player you want to lose. But at the same time discipline is not option for any league with serious ambitions of growth and Owili has had his fair share of transgressions since joining Ugandan basketball four years ago. 

All this adds up to a conundrum for FUBA and president Ambrose Tashobya hinted that the basketball governing body are exploiting the idea of adjusting the ban as they look for a win-win situation. 

“We have heard that UCU have appealed the ban and we are going to look at it and see,” said Tashobya, speaking to The New Vision from Turkey where he is attending a FIBA meeting. 

It’s a delicate balance but one that, perhaps, must be struck.

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
Boxer Nasir Bashir goes down in Glasgow
Uganda’s hopes for a boxing medal were quashed after boxer Nasir Bashir failed in his quarterfinal campaign against Ireland’s Michael Conlan on points....
Motorcross: Maxime ready to battle Kenyans
Maxime Van Pee has vowed to single handedly battle the Kenyan MX1 team even if Uganda fails to send a team to the FIM-Africa Central Africa Motocross Championship on Sunday at the Jamhuri Park in Nairobi....
Uganda Cranes  fly to Mauritania
Uganda Cranes fly out to Mauritania via South Africa Thursday, where they will be joined by first choice goalkeeper Dennis Onyango and lead striker Geoffrey Massa in Johannesburg....
Nanyondo qualifies for 800m semi-finals
Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo has qualified for the 800m semi-finals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland....
Africa Cup of Nations qualifying fixtures
Africa Cup of Nations third round, second leg qualifying fixtures this weekend....
Rwandans rile FUFA with abrupt changes
The Uganda Cubs were forced to embark on the journey to Rwanda earlier than planned after Federation of Rwanda Football Associations (FERWAFA) rescheduled their Africa Under-17 Championship qualifier for Friday instead of Saturday....
Should private schools and institutions be given tax exemption?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter