Ivan Enabu working hard on comeback trail

By Charles Mutebi

Enabu played 22 minutes and scored just seven points as the Silverbacks beat the Oilers 88-87

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Ivan Enabu is on the comeback trail.

After two seasons of intentionally and gradually stepping away from the game of basketball to concentrate on building what he called "the other aspects of his life", Enabu has found and started the journey back to being one of the National Basketball League's (NBL) favourite sons.

If you watched Tuesday's friendly between the Select Uganda Silverbacks and the Oilers, you saw the initial signs of a player attempting to reawaken the unique powers of a special gift.

Enabu played 22 minutes and scored just seven points as the Silverbacks beat the Oilers 88-87 but the athletic point guard was moving the best he has in a year. He's still bulky but evidently much faster than the bench-warmer as the Stanbic Warriors were bounced in the first round of the 2015 playoffs by the KIU Titans. 

"Enabu is working hard in the gym," remarked KIU patron Nasser Serunjogi from the side-lines of Tuesday's Lugogo affair. "He's going to be trouble for the league again."

When asked post-match about his comeback, Enabu explained, "Well, I have been able to find a job in town so it's easier for me to train".

Enabu spent 2015 working as the regional manager of a company at station away from Kampala, which spared little time for his basketball engagements. By the end of the season, he had visibly gained weight and was a shadow of the one-man fast-break that had long become a delight of NBL fans.

Enabu's motivation had also suffered after he seemingly failed to break into the national basketball team during its on-going golden era, a fact rudely contrasted by his younger brother Jimmy Enabu's simultaneous rise to stardom as a three-time NBL champion with the Oilers and Silverbacks combo guard.

The disillusionment had pushed Enabu towards considering his career and he often told New Vision the time had come to make the transition to post-basketball life.

"I will not always be a basketball player so I have to start securing my future," he said one time. "I have to start building the other aspects of my life like work and family".

Through it all, Enabu maintained that he has never felt as much passion about anything else in his life as basketball. Little surprise that he thought twice about walking away now, when he clearly still has plenty to offer.