Oksy & Aksy: James Okello (left) and Hope Akello (Right) took the big gongs home at FUBA awards dinner at Kabira. Photos – Don Mugabi Phil
City Oilers’ James Okello and JKL Lady Dolphins’ Hope Akello won the top accolades as Federation of Uganda Basketball Association – FUBA – recognized the best performers of the 2019 season at an awards dinner
The two centres were named the Most Valuable Players (MVP) in the playoffs after putting up commendable performances to help their respective teams win the league championship.
Okello edged teammates Landry Ndikumana and Tony Drilleba to the gong.
Read – All Set For FUBA Awards
“This was close,” said Okello. “Everyone on my team deserved it but am very honoured to be named the best and I have to thank my teammates and the Oilers fraternity.”
Akello on the other hand, also beat teammates Flavia Oketcho and Rita Immanishimwe to clinch the top gong.
“It’s a big achievement for me and this has been due to hard work. At JKL, we have big ambitions especially on the continent and we hope to win more and more,” said a pleased Akello who expressed her readiness for the forthcoming season.
Okello and Akello were also the top rebounders for NBL and WNBL respectively.
Brenda Ekone (Nkumba Lady Marines, now at JKL) and Syrus Kiviiri (Betway Power, now at Nam Blazers) were names MVPs for the regular season.
Landry was the topscorer for Men while Ekone took home the same honour in women category, an accolade she has taken for the past years in recent memory.
City Oilers, who won their seventh league title, scooped the award for most outstanding performance while their Mandy Juruni and Grace Kwizera were named best coach and manager in that order.
The 3X3 basketball franchise retained the Ambassador of the year ahead of JKL, Oilers and Maria Najjuma as the Watoto Franchise were named the most disciplined team.
The biggest moment of the night saw Peninah Kabenge receive the award for Lifetime Achievement, an accolade she received from former FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya.
Rewind: In 2018 season (awards dinner held in 2019), Okello (MVP playoffs) and Landry (MVP regular season) were the winners in NBL while Jamilah Nansikombi (MVP Playoffs) and Brenda Ekone (MVP regular season) won in the WNBL.
We Need A Basketball Facility – Nasser Sserunjogi
FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi used the awards platform to air out basketball’s biggest problem – A home.
In his remarks, Sserunjogi who was speaking in the presence of the new Sports Minister Hamson Obua, said:
“Our basketball faculty which is the MTN Indoor Arena, cannot host international games because it does not meet the stipulated requirements. A standard arena should have a wooden floor and a 3000 seater (capacity).
“We have a big challenge that the arena we have is being used by other sports disciplines and therefore we find ourselves competing for the same facility.
“My prayer is that government looks into that challenge and we are given a state of art arena. This will not only benefit basketball but also other sports like Volleyball, netball and boxing among others. That is my plea and I pray that it can be conspired.”
The president, who has walked the talk since taking over the office, commended the media in developing the sport, the sponsors, fans, his staff, players among others.
Minister Obua Gives Assurance
Minister Obua, a great talker of his generation, vowed to help basketball Federation where need be.
“I give you my assurance, we trust the sport,” said Obua who spoke for about 25 minutes. “We salute you (Sserunjogi) for leading a peaceful team. I have not heard of internal wrangles in FUBA and this has created a good and conducive environment to work better.”
“To the winners, the sky must be the limit. I would want you to have role models and good dreams. If I was like you, mine would be Michael Jordan.
“In the past, Sports as for regression and entertainment. But in developed countries, it is a tool for income and unity. We are here together, no division like in religion, political party or else.”
Obua urged the basketball fraternity to feel feel free to go to his office.
Uganda Olympic Committee President William Blick applauded FUBA for recognising athletes who are the biggest stakeholders of the sport while new NCS Chairman Donald Rukare, General Secretary Bernard Ogwel among other dignitaries attended the function at Kabira County Club that ended minutes to midnight.
The Complete List Of Winners
*Team Manager of the year
- Grace Kwizera – City Oilers
- 3X3 basketball team
*Coach of the year
- Mandy Juruni
*Most Improved Team (Men & Women)
- Nabisunsa Girls (Women)
*Most Disciplined Team (Men & Women)
Watoto Men & Watoto Ladies
- City Oilers
*Lifetime Achievement Award
- Peninah Kabenge
MVP Regular Season
*Men NBL – Syrus Kiviiri (Betway Power)
*Women NBL – Brenda Ekone (Nkumba)
*Division 1 Men – Sydney Chasimba
*Division 1 Women – Becky Keren Longom (Nabisunsa)
*Division 2 Men – Nibert Byamukama (Entebbe Archers)
*Men NBL – James Okello (City Oil)
*Women NBL – Hope Akello (JKL)
*Division 1 Men – Felix Mukunzi (UPDF)
*Division 1 Women – Benedit Namwenge (Magic Stormers)
*Division 2 Men – Garang Kur (Kampala Rockets)
*Men NBL – Landry Ndikumana (City Oilers) (505)
*Women NBL – Brenda Ekone (Nkumba L. Marines) (442)
*Division 1 Men – Felix Mukunzi (UPDF) (320)
*Division 1 Women – Brenda Alyano (Miracle Eaglets) (283)
*Division 2 Men – Nibert Byamukama (Entebbe Archers) (156)
*Men NBL – James Okello (City Oil) (337)
*Women NBL – Hope Akello (JKL) (302)
*Division 1 Men – Emmanuel Makuei (Nam Blazers) (219)
*Division 1 Women – Becky Keren Longom (Nabisunsa) (329)
*Division 2 Men – Peter Obleng (Entebbe Archers) (145)
Champions – City Oilers
1st Runner Up- UCU Canons
2nd Runner Up – Warriors
Champions – JKL Lady Dolphins
1st Runner Up – UCU Lady Canons
2nd Runner Up – KIU Rangers
*DIVISION 1 MEN
Champions – UPDF Tomahawks
1st Runner Up – Nam Blazers
2nd Runner Up – Nkumba Marines
*DIVISION 1 WOMEN
Champions – Magic Stormers
1st Runner Up – Nabisunsa Girls
2nd Runner Up – Javon Lady Phenoms
*DIVISION 2 MEN
Champions – Kampala Rockets
1st Runner Up – Entebbe Archers
2nd Runner Up – Renor-Duhaga