The national men’s basketball team, the Silverbacks, depart for Alexadria, Egypt this evening ahead of their training camp prior to Afrobasket.
The team was flagged off Thursday afternoon at National Council of Sports with state minister for higher education JC Muyingo handing the team the national flag.
The Silverbacks will spend two weeks in Egypt under the tutorship of George Galanapolous, Omar Barajab and Mandy Juruni.
Galanapolous and Barajab join Juruni on the technical bench and will have a chance to study the team in the two weeks.
Juruni, who did the selection, went for a blend of young blood and the seasoned campaigners to make the most of the team’s second appearance at the continental level.
Having led the Silverbacks at their first ever appearance at Afrobasket in 2015, Omony is one of the players with the experience required to play at that level and believes Uganda have a chance of competing this year.
“We have a stronger group this year and I believe we can compete,” the former Falcons player revealed.
However, Omony also revealed that it is important for the team to appreciate the level of competition at continental level vis-à-vis Uganda’s infancy at the high level.
“We have to have measured targets for now but the future is definitely bright,” Jonathan Egau and Stanley Mugerwa will be hoping for their debuts at the event following their first ever call ups to the final team.
Egau was dropped from the team that featured in the qualifiers but has managed to impress Juruni for a place this time round.
Mugerwa is only playing his first season in the national basketball league but was selected having shown flickers of brilliance in the first round.
Samuel Kalwanyi, who missed the qualifiers due to college commitments in the US, will return to the team fold alongside Stanley Ociti, A’darius Pegeus and Robinson Odoch Opong to complete the foreign based lot.
Uganda is grouped with powerhouse Angola, Morocco and Central African Republic and will require two wins to progress to the second round.
Government of Uganda has funded the entire trip by fully meeting the requests made by the national team steering committee.
The $119,950 from government is expected to cater for the team’s travel, accommodation, feeding, allowances and any other expenses.