Defending champions from Uganda Christian University see victory at 4th Afro-Varsity 3×3 Basketball Challenge

The Uganda Christian University (UCU) is double champion of the 4th Afro-Varsity 3X3 Basketball Challenge at the United States International University – Africa (USIU), in Nairobi, Kenya in the men’s and women’s categories.
The men’s team dispatched Kissi University of Kenya 21-9, Ndejje University 18-14, and USIU-Africa 20-4 in an impressive round of Pool A games. They then saw off the challenges of the University of Rwanda in the quarter final, University of Zambia in the semis, and recorded an impressive 21-8 victory over local rivals Ndejje University to reclaim the title they won in 2019.
The UCU women’s team also registered a flawless performance defeating USIU-Africa Team B 11-7, Copperbelt University of Zambia 20-7, and Jomo Kenyatta University 13-11 in Pool A. They continued their perfect run to the final by seeing off USIU-Africa Team A 17-10, Makerere University, and Institut supérieur d’entrepreneurship et de gestion (ISEG) 20-12 to defend their title.
Men’s captain and returning champion Fayed Baale, also part of the team that competed in the 2019 FISU University World Cup 3X3 Basketball, described winning the title as, “It’s been great, we followed the game plan that we came with from home and we executed that very well. It’s been a great experience, playing against good defenders that pushed us to even maximize our potentials.
“We set goals,” he continued, “and we are looking at beating last year’s level so that we finish as the best. That’s what we have worked for all year. We have been working on weaknesses just for the purpose of defying our failures of last year.”
The UCU women’s captain Rose Akon believes her experience playing in the 2019 FISU University World Cup 3X3 Basketball will better prepare her and the team for a more successful outing next year. “I know for fact that [I] am not the same player I was before I played these games. One of the lessons I learned was that I need to work extremely hard if I want to keep winning these titles and stay on top of my game, and with this mentality I believe it will be a walk through in any level of competition.”
On the prospect of playing at the games in China she said, “Being able to compete against players from other continent[s] is just so special. It helped us know where we stand in this kind of competition and we [are] able to learn a thing or two from the other teams and make new friends. My expectations are to grow as a player and enjoy the journey and be great at it.”
Team coach Nicholas Natuhereza describes the victory as a salve to some of the uncertainties that have tainted sports in the last 15 months. “It was exciting to be able to get back out there and compete. We have a lot of work to do to get to our best level yet. On evidence from the last edition of the world cup, we have some ground to make up. Lucky for us we have enough time to prepare. We shall do our best because we really need to eclipse the last performance we had at this level.”
On the men’s side, other medalists included Ndejje University winning silver while University of Zambia won the bronze medal match. In the women’s event, ISEG University of Senegal finished in 2nd place while Makerere University won the bronze medal.
The 4th Afro Varsity 3X3 Basketball Challenge attracted 18 universities in the men’s category and 14 universities in the women’s from six countries. The teams represented three zones of Africa (western, southern and eastern). The champion men’s and women’s teams from the Uganda Christian University will represent Africa at the 2022 FISU University World Cup 3X3 Basketball at the Xiamen University campus in Xiamen, China.
African Universities are now invited to participate in the last championship of the calendar year, the 5th FASU Cross Country Championship scheduled for 20th November 2021 at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture.

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