Like it was for the All Africa Games that Gazelles eventually missed to make the debut, financial constraints yet again stand in the National women’s basketball team’s way to the September 24-October 3 Afrobasket in Cameroon.
The Gazelles won gold at the Zone V Qualifiers last year to make the 2015 Afrobasket but need $100000 to make their first appearance at the continental showpiece and the National Team Steering Committee has started a money hunting campaign to raise funds.
The Gazelles missed to make the trip to Brazzaville for All Africa Games due National Council of Sports’ apparent lack of funds. FUBA president Ambrose Tashobya says the team must make the trip to Cameroon but they don’t have the money at the moment.
“…now we have Afrobasket ahead of us as we must go and be a part of Afrobasket. We don’t have the moneys now for the Cameroon trip” Tashobya said at a press conference.
“At this point we are calling up on the government, the president of the country, any Ugandan that can ensure that our girls travel because our job now is to move from zero to a hundred in thousands of dollars and that’s a job we are committed to and we are not going to sit until we have that money”
“We have some verbal pledges which we hope will come through but we need $100000”
Failure to participate at the continental championship after committing would call for heavy sanctions such as a financial fine of atleast $35000 and a ban of atleast three years.
“It is disastrous if we don’t travel because that would be more expensive than appearing at the tournament. We already assured FIBA that we would make it there.”
A final team of 12 players has been named and will enter residential camp on Thursday after nearly three months of non-residential training for the locally based players. The two foreign based players (Sharon and Lisa Karungi) are expected in the country over the weekend.
The team’s notable absentee is Zone 5 MVP Claire Lamunu who started her college basketball scholarship at Vanguard University in the US.
Team: Sylvia Nakazibwe, Flavia Okecho, Judith Nansobya, Maureen Amoding, Monica Siima, Rebecca Akullo, Victoria Ntale, Lisa Karungi, Muhayimana Namuwaya, Peace Proscovia, Martha Soigi, Sharon Karungi.