While leagues from other sports disciplines have resumed and some successfully played to completion, the basketball fraternity have only faced frustrations and a nervous taste of time with the delayed recall of NBL and lower division seasons.
The justification to this, at least for the past number of months, has been the instituting of an unprecedented second lockdown this year that was always bound to pose serious ramifications to sporting events, thereby rendering them non operational.
The fascinating sport of basketball has indeed been no exception to this trajectory that has seen various sports disciplines, even those endowed with a fertile budget from the central government continue to sourgrape about what could have been.
The aftermath of this has seen a series of meetings held by the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA) and the stakeholders of the sport to discuss and forge a way forward as regards the resumption of the leagues.
While at this, FUBA came to a resolution that the games return on the 2nd of October 2021 for the National Basketball League (NBL) while the Lower Division games are scheduled for the 16th of October this very year.
A number of conditions were however put forward for a successful league return including;
A deadline of September 10th 2021 was introduced by the federation regarding the confirmation of participation in the NBL by topflight league teams.
An additional fee of UGX 600,000 was also instituted for NBL teams. This being the mandatory COVID Test package for players and officials 48 hours prior to the games.
Like the trend has been over the last one year or so, no fans will be allowed or expected at the venues during games. The only provisions available will be for the media, but these will also be maintained to a negligible number.
The games will take place at venues that will be made public knowledge at the release of the fixtures by the Federation on the 18th September, 2021.
It is however imperative to remember that prior to the suspension of sport, following a directive from the president of the Republic of Uganda, National Council of Sports (NCS) had already called off all basketball competitions.
This was due to what they cited as failure by the federation to mobilize the observation and adherence to stringent SOPs governing congregations as directed by the Ministry of Health.
The league was called off while still in the regular season which implies that the proposed resumption will see a conclusion of regular season games before teams head for the playoffs.
This will be particularly exciting considering that teams will have to cut the grade for the business end of the competition.
Unlike other seasons that the public had grown accustomed to, this year’s edition was intolerant to a home-and-away regular season step-up. The trend continues when the resumption takes centre stage.
Excitement is overwhelmingly intensified within basketball circles but the question still remains, do we get to witness a continuation of the dominance by JKL Lady Dolphins and the City Oilers in the female and male divisions respectively or will someone finally standup to be counted?