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Uganda Basketball Players Face Unprecedented Times

Uganda National Basketball League Players face periods of uncertainties after the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association cancelled the season due to Covid19 pandemic.

The NBL season was supposed to tip off in March before the ban on public gatherings was effected. After months of denial, FUBA last week confirmed that all local basketball activities in 2020 have been cancelled.

The infamous decision to end the season has caused a big debate, as the players continue to remain in shadows.

The wait for jump ball will go on and on this time. FUBA President Nasser Sserunjogi (middle).

“First of all, I think the decision was reached prematurely, we were consulted even,” said one the NBL players who preferred anonymity.

“I think the biggest problem would be financial because most contracts will have to be nullified. And I doubt most players have clauses in their contracts that protect them from such, or even if they do, they would not have the financial muscle to seek redress in the courts of law.

“Then, for the guys who depend on the Sport, they’ll have to find alternative means of survival atleast till the end of year. I know a number of guys that have hinted on retirement.”

Players are also expected to face a challenge of maintaining their fitness “which is also going to be quite hard since we won’t have any activities.”

FUBA confirmed that the 2021 Afrobasket Qualifiers in November which will be played in Egypt, will go on.

The National team squad for the Silverbacks was summoned earlier this year, and much may change until November.

Will the Federation stick with their earlier selection, and with no action ongoing, how will the players keep fit until then?

He adds: “All in all, I think the Federation rushed to make that decision. If the govt has not yet declared a dead year for schools, then why was the Federation in such a rush?”

Basketball coach Ali Mavita. Viva Osuna/FUBA photo

KCCA Leopards coach Ali Mavita says this will be a long time for an athlete not to be doing anything the whole season and it will have an effect on the body and mind.

Mavita adds: “So we are going to keep encouraging them to remain active, do something at least three times a week. It doesn’t have to be heavy but it has to be sustained throughout this time, we are going to encourage them to keep together, they are allowed to hang in threes, may be we can find themselves to meet sometime may be to jog and workout together and to still stay health and feed well during this time.”

Landry Ndikumana (right) balling in Burundi. Courtesy

City Oilers’ Landry Ndikumana is currently in his home country in Burundi and photos of him playing made rounds on social media.

Landry explained to The-SportsNation: “I am still a player of City Oilers, this was just a tournament here. Actually, it was a national team Vs team select. I miss my friends back in Uganda and the fans as well but I will be back when everything is okay.”

Making the resolutions when cancelling the league, FUBA said that all contractual issues between players and their clubs will be handled in accordance with the contract laws of the country.

What next? Falcons basketball players. Tsaubah stone/FUBA photo

What Others Say:

Chris Omanye (Warriors): “Sustainance man! Its gonna be hard to sustain myself. I think every foreigner right now is thinking of going home. I am sure no team wants to continue paying players, yet most players depends on the little money to pay rent and some food. Now having over six months more of no actions.”

Rita Imanishimwe (JKL Lady Dolphins): “Big loss to the fraternity from what I saw planned in the press release for 2020. I will miss the league as a player though I believe it’s for the best considering the situation in the world. To keep fit, I will keep on my usual workout schedule.”

Guddi ‘Kikiri’ Nasser (Betway Power): “First and foremost I would like to let you know that if you are a true sportsman, you have to remain strong and keep fit 100% because you never know what will happen in the future always. On fitness, I have always kept fit from the day lockdown started, I run in the morning from Kisasi to Musanvu then come through Komamboga to Kisasi.”

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