KAMPALA(Uganda)- Following a memorable 2018, it is only befitting that Ugandan super star player Jamila Nansikombi be awarded as the Best Female Basketball Player in the country by two prestigious organisations including the Federation of Uganda Basketball Associations (FUBA) as well as the Uganda Sports Press Association (USPA) in a space of two days.
The 22-year old, who has made her name in 3×3 basketball in Africa and at the international level, is currently ranked third in Africa but it is her exploits in the Ugandan topflight league that caught the eye of everyone last year.
Her speed, scoring prowess and ability to entertain those watching from the stands has given her an air of superstardom from which she has attained confidence and a new understanding of what greater heights she can achieve if she maintains this attitude. “I FEEL REALLY MOTIVATED GREATLY. THIS IS A VERY GOOD THING AND IT ENCOURAGES ME TO WORK EVEN HARDER. BEING APPRECIATED IN THIS WAY IS ONE OF THE GREATEST FEELINGS ANY SPORTS PERSON WOULD EVER HAVE ESPECIALLY AFTER THEIR HARD WORK”- Nansikombi
Featuring at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup 2018 in the Philippines and the FIBA 3×3 U-23 World Cup in Xian, China as well as at the second edition of the FIBA 3×3 Africa Cup in Lome, Togo were groundbreaking moments in her basketball career that set a perfect foundation that shaped her never-give-up attitude and a yearning for bigger things.
This inspired her to lead the JKL Dolphins to their first ever national league title in Uganda breaking the UCU Lady Canons and KCCA Leopards dominance that had ruled Ugandan women’s basketball for the last seven years.
This victory set the precedence for a place on the continental stage and indeed when East African giants Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) came calling ahead of the FIBA Africa Women’s Champions Cup in Maputo, Mozambique, Nansikombi did not hesitate.
Her incredible scoring ability saw her walk away with two awards as the high scorer of the tournament with a combined 120 points averaging 17.1 points per game as well as being named on the All-Star Five, an amazing achievement for a debutant.
Nansikombi told FIBA.basketball in an exclusive interview that,
“I feel really motivated greatly. This is a very good thing and it encourages me to work even harder. Being appreciated in this way is one of the greatest feelings any sports person would ever have especially after their hard work.”
With the new season set to tip off this Friday, Nansikombi is looking to replicate her form from last season but most importantly, she is excited about the upcoming FIBA Women’s AfroBasket Qualifiers.
“This year, things can only get better. I will keep working hard and trusting myself, praying to God and keeping on the right team with the same goals. One can never have enough practice in sports because there are always new things we learn about the game. I am looking forward to the new challenge this year,” she explained.
The Uganda Gazelles made their debut to the continental showpiece in 2015 in Cameroon but failed to make it to the 2017 edition and Nansikombi believes that a lot has changed since then and that Uganda will be eyeing a slot at this year’s tournament.