Daniel Monoja earned his first national team call up last year as the Silverbacks prepared for the FIBA AfroCan Qualifiers.
Dudus, as he’s fondly known, earned the call following a solid and consistence performance in the National Basketball League with JKL Dolphins.
In an interview with Kawowo Sports, the forward who joined Namuwongo Blazers at the start of the year admitted that training with the national team is the highlight of his career so far and an experience worthwhile.
“I think the opportunity to train with the national team has been my biggest achievement thus far. That’s is something you can never take for granted and when I got that opportunity, I took it with both hands,” he said.
“The experience was different because first of all, we had a white coach… an American coach and America is the best at basketball so having an opportunity to learn from the best is something I treasure.
“Then playing with the best, training with the best because we were training with the best players in the league. I had an opportunity to train with Brandon Davies, Deng Geu, Okello, and lots of other great players at my position and other positions so I think the national team experience has been my best experience thus far and I hope another opportunity will present itself soon.”
Monoja confesses he was probably quite not ready yet for the call-up and was starstruck when he joined the national team training and says it kind of affected him during the camp.
“I was a rookie. Your first experience is always your hardest so I would say that I wasn’t quite there yet.
“To a certain extent, I was starstruck. Who would not be starstruck if you train with a former NBA player? I was starstruck and to a certain extent it limited me but then also I was challenged because I believe what they would do, I can do better. The next time I get a call up I will be in a much better shape than I was and I will have a deeper understanding of the game,” he says.
Asked how far hes willing to go for another opportunity with the Silverbacks, Monoja says he is up for whatever it takes.
“It’s an opportunity I look forward to, its an opportunity that I want to fully explore because when God gives you an opportunity you have to take it with both hands so the likes of Lumanyika set the bar so high but I think I can outdo them. It’s all about hard work, if you work hard you can do anything so the opportunity to be better is one that I cherish.”