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St Mary’s Kitende Vows To Defend FEASSA Basketball Crown

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Ugandan giants St Mary’s SS Kitende have promised to defend their Girls Basketball crown at the 20th edition of the Federation of East Africa Secondary Schools Sports Associations (FEASSSA) games.

Kitende return to Huye City in Rwanda where they won their first Girls Basketball title back in 2015.

Last year, they beat Ugandan compatriots and rivals St Noa 72-69 to win the Regional title in Arusha, Tanzania.

“The championship is our ultimate goal, we are the defending it,” said Coach Boniface Akello.

“East Africa (FEASSA) is always tough, every team comes to compete, it’s very hard to beat your opponent, but I trust in the team, we have worked hard on our executions on offense and defence so we are good to go.”

Kitende are pitted in Group B alongside Marie Reine Rwaza (Rwanda), Orkeeswa SS (Tanzania) and two Kenyan Schools.

Group B has last year’s runners up St Noa, Nabisunsa Girls, St Bernadette (Rwanda) and a School from Kenya.

Kitende will also compete in 3*3 Girls Basketball competition, a title they won last year as well, on it debut.

The Kitende Roster include a couple of National Basketball League players like Rose Amaniyo (KIU Rangers) and Miracle Eaglets trio of Mariam Namukwaya, Akello Winfred and Sylvia Nantongo.

“Amaniyo has experience, played at 3*3 in Africa Beach Games and she brings lots of experience and confidence in the team. That also builds our confidence and it will hugely impact us winning the title,” Okello added.

Okello, who will be assisted by Jude Okudach, said that they have had to work with the Girls under a tight education schedule.

“We have faced a tight school program, most of our players are in candidate classes and are having MOCKS, So we have been having challenges to have them train fully. This school rightly takes academics very serious, and we totally respect that. We had to put in extra hours and improvise so that we can have them earlier and after their Exams.”

Okello has won all Nationals championships with the Girls team at Kitende since joining the side back then in 2006 while he was still at University, breaking the earlier dominance from Nabisunsa Girls.

He added: “Going to Rwanda, a bad tournament is me not winning the championship. It’s result over reason for us. Even if we lose by half a basket, it will be a bad one for us. We all know what this School stands for and it’s objectives, we want to win trophies and nothing less.”

Okello is a well respected figure in Basketball circles, having shaped the career of most NBL and National team players including Jamila Nansikombi, Lilian Aber, Hope Akello, Evelyn Nakiyinji, Brenda Ekone among others.

She Cranes (Netball) players Mary Nuba and Maggie Baagala also played Basketball under him at Kitende.

He has also coached UCU Lady Canons, JKL Lady Dolphins and Power in the National Basketball League, and also won league titles as a player with Power and Nkumba Marines.

Token of Appreciation from Miracle Basketball

As earlier stated, NBL side Miracle Eaglets is home to three Kitende players – Namukwaya, Akello and Nantongo.

The Club coached by Arnold Katabi, through his Shoe brand Bunggle Kicks, donated sneakers to the Girls Basketball team and their coaches.

“That’s a small gesture to show appreciation and our support for the players for starters who play for the School,” Katabi commented.

“We want to appreciate Kitende for their contribution to our basketball organisation but we also want to wish the School the best of success out there in Huye

“We are rallying behind the team, we are fully supporting the team, and praying that they get a lot of success. We want to support and appreciate as much as we can our very athletes also, I believe this will also develop our strong relationship with the school as well.”

The Shoes were received by Assistant Executive Director Claire Mulindwa who commended Katabi and Miracle basketball for the kind heart.

“This is a good sign from Miracle basketball, we have been working together because some of our students play for the Club, we are in a partnership with them, and we would like to say thank you,” Claire Mulindwa joyously noted.

“We appreciate so much because not everyone gives us as they think we already have but the gesture of giving is what is more important.

I believe this comfort the players and they will continue to deliver as we seek to defend our basketball title and also excel in other Sports Disciplines.

“The preparations have been intense and we have given al our teams time and hopefully we shall defend the trophies.”

Kitende will also compete in Netball (Girls) and Football (Boys)

The post St Mary’s Kitende Vows To Defend FEASSA Basketball Crown appeared first on Live from ground.

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