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Natuhereza Remains Hopeful Despite UCU Uncertainty For Season

Uganda Christian University (UCU) basketball coach Nicholas Natuhereza is still positive that his side will feature in the shortened National Basketball League (NBL) season.

The registration window closed on Monday, March 16 ahead of league tip off on April 2.

Sources at the Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) offices have suggested that the registration window will be extended for another week.

UCU Canons is the only team of the 12 men teams yet to register while their counterparts, the UCU Lady Canons, are among the three which have not confirmed participation including A1 Challenge.

UCU basketball coach Nicholas Natuhereza (red).

“You all know the reason as to why everyone is struggling, its Covid19,” Natuhereza told The-SportsNation when asked to explain why the University has not confirmed participation.

“The institution (UCU) was closed from March to October and of course there was no income. Right now the priorities don’t involve Sports. One could argue that this league has come too soon in regards to the financial position of the University. That said, I hope we are going to play.”

However, other academic institutions like Ndejje and Nkumba University have already registered.

Natuhereza adds: “May be Ndejje have had their house in order in time or we do not know what is going on behind the scenes, but then I cannot speak for Ndejje, I can only speak for UCU.

“The issue is a financial situation where logistics of coming to games and facilitating players are a challenge right now.”

Last season was called off just days prior to tip off due to Covid19 pandemic and if UCU fails to show up, it will mean that the University’s players will not have played competitive basketball for two years.

The UCU Lady Canons. FUBA

Point guard Fayed Bbale says that it will be a big blow for them if they miss out. “It will hugely affect us as players,” Bbale told this website. “Its been long since we last played and it will take us back in terms of competition and our confidence will go down surely, I just hope that we play because we have been training recently.”

Coach Natuhereza says that it will “obviously” be tough for the players to recover and get into playing shape that they were in.

“For me am looking at the bigger issue which will be what are the loop effects of not playing, how far will those impacts go, because these are students who are on scholarship for the most part, so as long as they continue to be students – that is am hoping continues to be the case – So if you say that you are not playing what will the players be doing? But again I will say this that I am hoping that we continue to play.”

The Lady Canons are the record league winners with seven titles while the Canons were beaten finalist by City Oilers the last time the league was played in 2019.

Sports At Uganda Christian University Face Bleak Future

Uganda Christian University, an authentic Christian institution was established by the Church of Uganda in 1997 and its located in Mukono district.

Besides its affiliation to Christianity, the University has been on the map thanks to a larger part to their dominance in Sports.

Sports facilities can be seen at UCU in Mukono. Courtesy

They have state of the art sports facilities including three basketball courts.

The University has issued out scholarships to students in almost all sports disciplines and has managed to produce players to National teams.

UCU has among others hosted some of the top sports events like the University Games in 2007 and 2013, and recently provided venue for the National Athletics competition last weekend.

John Senyonyi has been at the helm of all this during his time as Vice Chancellor from 2010-2020.

There are growing fears that new Vice Chancellor Aaron Mushengyezi who officially took office in September last year may fail to upheld the Sports legacy and culture he has found.

“The new VC is coming from Makerere, so his main focus is mainly on academics and he may not look much into the co-curriculars,” said an official on grounds of anonymity.

Efforts to reach the new VC have been in vain while Sports Tutor Cornelius Emenyu refused to comment.

Brian Kawalya

Brian Kawalya

Chief Sports Writer
Brian Kawalya is an Award winning Journalist, Director and Chief Sports Writer of The-SportsNation, covering top events and breaking some of the biggest stories.
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