Namuwongo Blazers

The 2020 National Basketball League promises to be a challenging one for traditional clubs if the offseason business is anything to go by.

While traditional clubs as Warriors and Falcons have been relatively quiet in the offseason, newcomers Namuwongo Blazers have made a lot of transfer noise raiding Power for seasoned players to see them through their first season in the top flight.

The side has recruited up to seven seasoned campaigners in the National Basketball League and are looking beyond just survival in the division much as according to head coach Stephen Nyeko the priority is survival.

“Our first target is to stay in the league. I have played in this league before and I know it’s a tough league. We can’t look ahead of ourselves now but we want to be in the playoffs as well,” Nyeko told Kawowo Sports.

Derrick Katumba

He was the first signing the club announced.

Derrick Katumba Credit: Twitter | Namuwongo Blazers

Katumba was a very promising young player while at Crane High which earned him a chance to be part of the African Sprite U19 All-Stars in the United Staes of America in 2010 and a year later was part of Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa.

The center had been turning out for Ndejje University Angels but had stints with Power, Heaters and Charging Rhinos.

Michael Kojjo

He is the most experienced of the players Nam Blazers signed.

Michael Kojjo Credit: Nam Blazers

Kojjo started his National Basketball League career with Berkely Basketball Club (now Rez Life Saints) in 2006.

The power forward joined Power in 2009, winning two league titles with the club while losing three finals before switching to Falcons

Fahmy Sebatindira

Given the background of players they have, Nam Blazers are expected to play quick transition basketball and Sebatindira will direct the offense.

Fahmy Ssebatindira Credit: Nam Blazers

The point guard went Kibuli S.S after which he joined Charging Rhinos in 2008 where he played up to 2013 before switching to in 2014.

Paul Odong

Odong is could be Nam Blazers’ starting small forward while he has been playing as a shooting guard since he started out with Bushcourt in 2010.

Paul Odong Credit: Nam Blazers

He joined Power Basketball Club in 2013 where he was focal during the three seasons in which Power reach the finals, especially on the offensive end.

Odong is one of the best shooters in the league and when he gets hot, he is difficult to slow down. However, his defensive capability is limited.

Syrus Kiviiri

Kiviiri is one of the two players on Nam Blazers roster to have won a league title. The shooting guard was part of the Warriors triumphant team in 2012.

Kiviiri, the reigning National Basketball League regular season MVP, has in the past turned out for Ndejje University, Falcons, Our Saviour, UCU canons and most recently Power.

He a vastly experienced player who has also represented the country in the World Cup qualifiers and is expected to shoulder the bigger part of the team’s offensive burden.

Other Additions

The league newcomers will have vocal leader bother on and off the court in Emmanuel Okumu. The small forward may be limited at the offensive end but compensates with his defense and ability to be the vocal leader on the court.

One of last season’s top rebounders Daniel Monoja also joined Blazers and along with Katumba and Kojjo, the team seems to have very good rebounding capabilities, especially off the defensive board.

With the exception of Syrus Kiviiri who is out for three weeks, the rest of the players had a run during the UCU Invitational Tournament over the weekend.

Namuwongo Blazers will start its National Basketball League campaign against KCCA Pathers on Sunday, March 22 at KIU in Kansanga.

Franklin Kaweru is the Editor in Chief of Kawowo Sports. He is an ardent basketball enthusiast.

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