Newly appointed KIU Basketball Chairman Mark Ssali envisions the franchise as a continental powerhouse in the near future.
Ssali was recently appointed the new chairman of KIU by club President Nasser Sserunjogi who also doubles as the FUBA President.
Alex Busingye and Laman Napio Masaba are the other members of the three-man board appointed to lead KIU Basketball, a home for KIU Titans (Men) and KIU Rangers (Women) that compete in National Basketball League.
In his remarks, Ssali vowed to turn KIU into a competitive side both local and international.
“I will put KIU at the level where they can compete for top honours in the region,” he said in a press conference at Kati Kati in Kampala.
“I would like KIU to groom young talent who will fill the national team and also ensure that the competition on the local scene is wider. We want to challenge for the title and also see that there is excitement.
“We want to bring in corporate sponsorship because there is notable growth in Ugandan basketball because of the strides the Silverbacks are making and we want to be a big part of that.”
On where he sees the club in the near future, he explained:
“I want to be here in like the next ten year, calling you (journalists) at a KIU home, a real basketball complex. This is a dream me and my board shares.
“We want to be a continental brand. I want us to have a big cabinet of silverware behind me with a whole bunch of players that have been produced through the conveyor belt. We want to establish strong partnerships with schools and the corporate world as well.”
The Many Coats Of Mark Ssali
Ssali is a former Public Relations Officer at Uganda National Roads Authority, a government agency mandated to maintain and develop National Roads network in the country.
He is a member of the advisory board of Express FC, one of the traditional and most successful clubs in Uganda.
He is a member of National Council of Sports (NCS), an organ that develop, Promote and control sports activities in Uganda on behalf of Government under the Ministry of Education and Sports.
Ssali is still an active Sports Journalist, and a benchmark of the profession where he has inspired many since early years at Nation Media Group.
He has played both Basketball and Football at the highest level in the country.
His footballing career saw him play at Nsambya, SC Villa and Diary Corporation.
He played basketball in the National Basketball League and also represented Uganda with the Silverbacks.
Will Ssali Manage To Fulfil His Role Amidst His Busy Schedule?
“I have never been comfortable doing one thing,” Ssali says when asked about serving many masters at ago.
“Even during my playing days, I could not settle for one discipline. I could play Basketball, Football, Volleyball, Swimming among others. Nimrod Kaboha and I were the only two individuals playing Football and Basketball in the league at the moment.
“When I joined Journalism, I remember many were writing about one sport discipline, but I took on many because of the passion and ambition. This is the same for my work space.
“When you look at my other roles at NCS and Express, they are somehow similar. There are structured roles in that I don’t need to be there all the time to fulfil my duties. Its the same here.”
Ssali describes Basketball as “largely one of the most Passion thing about me” because he has been involved with the sport at almost all levels.
President Sserunjogi says that Ssali’s appointment was important because he targeted people who are very “knowledgeable” about the game and can drive the team to “greater heights.”