Finally, after several months of speculation of when and where the 2014 awards gala will be held, Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) staged the event at the Rwenzori Ball Room Hall, Sheraton Kampala Hotel on Saturday night.

Guests from all walks of life thronged the hall as early as the opening hours of dusk ready to exhibit the different fashion trends of sorts.

Arrival for some of the players at the Rwenzori Ball Room, Kampala Sheraton Hotel

The ambiance and euphoria at the ball room could be rated average with a little spice probably a missing ingredient from the lighting and sound system.

Like on most awards nights, the expectations of probable anticipated winners were high as the MC’s  of the colourful evening read out the best performers from the season past.

At 8:32 p.m, the event finally kick started  with the speeches and luckily, one presenter after the other, obeyed the ‘Mini-Skirt law’ as requested by one of the day’s MC, Allan Musoke.

Ali Balunywa (left) and Noella Byuma delivered Airtel Uganda’s message at the awards night

Airtel Uganda Head of Sales, Ali Balunywa flanked by the Brand and Communications Manager, Noella Byuma speaking on behalf of the sponsors appreciated the organization at FUBA as a sports body in Uganda and pledged more sponsorship of the league

We are grateful for Airtel Uganda towards the sponsorship of the national basketball league. We shall continue to support basketball in this country

Pepsi Customer Marketing Manager, Jeff Ssekandi

We shall support the basketball fraternity to become the best competitive sport in the country. As Pepsi, we congratulate all the winning teams and we encourage those that did not perform to their expectations

City Oilers Team being rewarded as champions of 2014 season

Alfred Okanya, on behalf of UBC T.V, the official broadcast partner who televised the plays-off games live remarked:

FUBA executive should continue to drive Basketball and take it to another level

Meantime, the players and invited guests wined and enjoyed the delicious food.

Suudi Ulanga (MVP regular season) receives his award from UOC President, William Blick

Enter the actual awards time, the Uganda Senior National teams (men and women), for qualifying for the Afro Basketball events (later this year), were overwhelmingly voted the basketball ambassadors of the year, 2014.

The national teams beat UPDF, KCCA and City Oilers to the gong.

Several accolades were given to the different personalities ranging from the Development to the elite league.

One of the highlight of the day was the awarding of Jimmy Enabu as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the play-offs.

MVP Play offs, Jimmy Enabu with his trophy

Enabu beat Ben Komakech and Kami Kabangu to the gong that had eluded him for years.

I feel excited for recognizing my efforts. As a player, this award motivates me to aspire for greater heights

He noted.

Claire Lamunu took the ladies’ version of the best lady player of the play-offs.

Earlier, Purity Adhiambo and Suudi Ulanga had been voted MVP’s of the women and men’s regular season.

Purity Adhiambo (right) received her MVP Regular season trophy from UOC President, Willam Blick

FUBA president, Ambrose Tashobya lauded all the federation sponsors, and urged the teams to prepare their respective squad enough for the coming season.

FUBA President, Ambrose Tashobya presenting his speech

Other Winners:

Mande Juruni took the coach of the year gong, with Timothy Odeke coming second best.

Gulu Hawks’ Vicent Okot had no contestant as he was overwhelmingly voted the most promising player of the development league as well as top scoring the charts in the same league.

FUFA President, Eng. Moses Magogo (center) flanked by his vice president (marketing), Denis Mbidde

Uganda Olympic Committee (UOC) chairman, William Blick, Football F.A president, Moses Hashim Magogo and Sports Commissioner, Omara Apitta were the other distinguished high profile guests invited.

By mid-night, the glamorous event climaxed meantime the winners signed several autographs, were engaged in photo shoots as the press interviewed the rest.

The upcoming virgin season will probably aspire surprise tags that will be rewarded at the next awards night.

Some of the trophies given away to the respective individual winners and excelling teams.

Congratulations to all the winners.

FULL Awards:

Basketball Ambassador of 2014: Uganda Senior National Teams (Men and Women)

Most Disciplined Teams of the league (Men):  Eagles & Women: Nabisunsa

Most Improved Team in D-League (Women): Jargon Ladies

Most Defensive Team in D-League (Men)– Armacon Eagles

Most Defensive Team in DIV 1 League (Men):  Bush Courts

Most Defensive Team in National League (Men): City Oilers

Most Defensive Team in National League (Women): UCU Lady Canons

Most Promising Player (D-league): Vincent Okot (Gulu Hawks)

Most Promising Player (Division 1-Women): Elizabeth Akol

Top Scorer (D-League) – Men:Derrick Ongom (186 Baskets) & Women: Joan Kirungi

Top Scorer (Women) – Purity Adihambo

MVP Regular Season (Men): Suudi Ulanga

MVP Regular Season (Women): Purity Adiambo

Outstanding Performance Winner: Steven Mwesige

Coach of the year: Mande Juruni Mande

MVP (Plays -offs) – Women: Claire Lamunu

MVP (Play-offs) – Men: Jimmy Enabu

Men Winners: City Oilers

Women Winners: KCCA Leopards

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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