Power forward Arthur Kaluma is one of the three players who will be making their debuts for Uganda men’s national basketball team, Silverbacks when the side takes on Morocco on Thursday, 8th July in an Afrobasket qualifier (second window) clash in Rabat.
The other players who will be making their debuts are; USA based Ghedi Abdi Hakim Mohamed and Canada based Kieran Zziwa.
Kaluma who recently commited to Creighton College in the USA says that he feels good about his maiden call up and now looks forward to making his comepetitive debut and ensuring that his side comes good at the end of proceedings.
“This is a great opportunity!” Kaluma said adding that; “being able to come here to play for the national team gives a different sense of pride. I feel like this could always be a part of me.”
“I’m enjoying my time here with the guys, we are having lots of fun but when we get on court it will be serious business and that’s something I respect and something I have loved to do,” Kaluma added.
As he eyes victory in Rabat, Kaluma however promises team work with the lads as he aims to ensure that his side comes good in Rabat.
“Every single time I step on the court my mindset is to kill but this time round we gonna kill together. I have got a different type of hunger,” Kaluma added.
During the first window held in Cairo, Egypt, Uganda emerged 94-90 winners and would fancy to go at it at again but this time round at Morocco’s own backyard.
If Silverbacks win against Morocco, they will automatically qualify for the Afrobasket finals, but if not they will have to play Cape Verde on 15th July and if triumphant they will qualify for the said finals.
However, if Silverbacks lose all their Group E games, it will then go down to goal difference with Morocco needing a +8 win over Uganda while Cape Verde need a +6 win to come atop Uganda. Egypt is already qualified for the finals but the top three teams from each group and a wildcard will form the 16 teams that will qualify for Afrobasket finals.
The event proper, FIBA AfroBasket is scheduled to be held in Kigali, Rwanda from August 24 to September 5 2021.
Silverbacks Afrobasket Qualifiers Team:
Jimmy Enabu (City Oilers), James Okello (City Oilers), Tonny Drileba (City Oilers), Benjamin Komakech (City Oilers), Titus Odeke (UCU Canons), Ronson Odoch Opong (Canada), Eric Rwahwire (Canada), Keiran Zziwa (Canada), Ghedi Muhamed (USA), Geu Dengeu John (Denmark), Ishmail Wainright (France) and Arthur Kaluma (USA).
George Galanopoulos, Mandy Juruni, Michael Schmitz and Andrew Tendo Senyondwa.