• August 14, 2020

Basketball: Vicky Ntale Leaves A1 Challenge After 10 Years

 Basketball: Vicky Ntale Leaves A1 Challenge After 10 Years

Vicky Ntale has left A1 Challenge after a ten-year stay at the Women National Basketball League club.

The player, who has been the team’s captain, has revealed the development to The-SportsNation.

Vicky, as commonly known, said that her reason for change is to ‘aspire to inspire’ and every moment is a fresh beginning.

“I would like to thank A1 challenge for everything they have done for me both the management and the players but there comes a time where the best dancer has to leave the dance floor so it’s time for me to move on,” noted Ntale.

She will be joining division II side Renor Duhaga, it is official.

On why she is joining a lower division team, Vicky commented:

“When I first started playing Basketball, I played alongside experienced players who knew everything about the league and they helped me learn the skill and gain the experience I have today cause they believed in me.

“I would like to return the favour to the players am going to be with this year because I strongly believe I can offer and teach them more about basketball and one thing I strongly believe is learning how to work with others doesn’t matter if you are a learner or experienced, it’s what u want to achieve as a common goal which is critical as a life skill and that is what a team sport should have.”

She added that Duhaga have welcomed her with open arms and she is hoping for an amazing experience with the team.

She commended her family’s support through the whole journey so far.

“Lastly, my family have been my support system especially my sisters and mum and you will be shocked; two have played basketball (Anita Ntale in high school and Irene Ntale during FNL) Sandra, Viola and mum have always been the cheerleaders and I love them for that.”

Vicky Ntale in the middle. FUBA

Vicky Ntale – A story of a Glittering Career

Vicky, sister to RnB, reggae and acoustic singer Irene Ntale, started playing Basketball way back in 2000 at Kitante Secondary school.

Then, Kitante was a power house in secondary School basketball both girls and boys. Her teamates at the school include were Flavia Oketcho, Angella Lokidi, Maggie Nalubega, Priscilla Ray among others.

“We were still learners so we had a lot to catch up on in order to make it to the team and be like our seniors in order for you to even be considered to step on the court,” Vicky reflects.

While in school, Vicky was enrolled to play in Amazon Rhino which was a registered club in the league at that time where she got a chance to rub shoulders with Olivia Mulwana, Gloria Kyomugisha among others, a team that was coached Coach JB and Mandy Juruni. Robert Ndamagye was a coach as well.

“Amazon Rhinos played a huge part in my basketball career, I learnt a lot from this club because it was dedicated to make players good.”

She later on joined Najja High school and helped the school to win the East Africa schools Championship where they defeated Nabisunsa in the finals.

Speaking about the schools championship victory, she says: “Trust me, this was sweet revenge because during that time, Nabisunsa used to win everything so beating them felt good and especially since it was an international tournament.”

She went on to play for Makerere sparks, KIU before signing for A1 challenge in 2010.

“When I joined A1 Challenge I basically knew this club – The hustle they brought to the table and being aggressive and above all love for the Girl child and for the one thing Mrs. Rossette Meyer installed, in A1 challenge, Education is key and then Basketball will continue which will still be apart forever apart of your life.”

She was summoned to the National team where she has been a big pillar since, playing alongside Mavita Ali who was the captain, Francis Nabulobi, Flirsh, Martha Soigi, Mulwana Olivia among others.

“We would participate in international games but we would never win, we either came out 3rd or 4th but to me this was not enough, The one promise I made to myself when I was appointed captain of the National team was if we ever won Gold for the Nation, I would retire from the National team and this got to happen.”

Notably, Vicky captained the team in 2014 and won the FIBA Afro Basketball Zone V Championship qualifier with a team that had Flavia Oketcho, Claire Lamunu, Becky Akullo, Peace Proscovia, Sylvia Nakazibwe, Sharon Karungi among others. The side went ahead and qualified for the women Africa Championship under coaches Timothy Odeke, Nimrod Kaboha and Mavita Ali with managers Muhammed Santur and Grace Kwizera.

“I kept my promise and retired from the National team and during thid time I met a Gentleman called Mr.Mohammed Santur who always believed in me in terms of my discipline and leadership and from the meetings we had, he appointed me as the Manager for the Gazzelles and this is was my next chapter of Basketball in regards to the National team to this day.

“I was very humbled and happy because I know this role Co, especially with a lot of work but I managed to get through everything with the help of Ahabwe Albert who is currently the Manager for the Silverbucks. He taught me how things work and I managed to learn quickly and step up in terms of my roles as the manager of the Gazzelles.”

Brian Kawalya

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