The Uganda Junior Silverbacks basketball team hopes to get valuable exposure and experience from the 21st FIBA Africa U-18 men Africa Championship that throws up in Mali on Friday.
After getting a wild card, following their second place finish at the regional Zone V last month in Dar-es-salam, the Ugandans will test themselves against teams from Senegal, DR Congo, Guinea, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Rwanda, Tunisia and hosts Mali.
A delegation of ten players and three coaches were flagged off for the championship by NCS Assistant General Secretary David Katende who advised the youngsters to do their best by training and working hard and also remain committed and focused to the sport.
“We are still ready and committed to support the federation but what we are asking for are results; go out there and bring good results. Good results will automatically attract further government funding,” Katende said.
Team Coach Nick Natuhereza said the team had prepared well and ready to put up their best and get the necessary exposure and experience that they can carry to the senior level.
“Overall we have a better prepared team than the last time we participated in the qualifier. But I know it is tough out there and in our preparations we tried to prepare for that. We are looking to do our best and see where we end but we want to improve from our last engagement when we were there,” Natuhereza said before team captain Fayed Baale also showed optimism.
“I think we are going to perform well because we have prepared very well and we are ready to represent our country. Preparations for the past two weeks were good,” Baale said.
FUBA vice president Marketing, Media and Publicity Grace Kwizera thanked NCS for the partnership that the federation continues to enjoy with them.
The team that left yesterday includes Fayed Baale (captain), Cranmer Wamala, Roxine Ahumuza, Raymond Iriama, Rogers Dauma, Livingstone Kimambo, Edrine Walujjo, Arnold KisekkaRabujjeh Masiko and Kevin Kasobya and coaches Nick Natuhereza, Ronald Bajjunga, and David Mike Burkowski.