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ALLAN MUSOKE: I can’t wait to play basketball

Allan Musoke, 29, is a human resource systems officer at uganda telecom Limited. He is best known for his rugby skills where he features for utl Kobs. A two-time rugby MVP, Musoke is going to feature for basketball champions DMark Power in the FUBA league. He told JOHN VIANNEY NSIMBE that he is going to play both games concurrently

What’s with this craze for sport?

During my school days at Kampala Parents and Kings College Budo, I used to play for all the school teams. By 1989, I discovered that I was a good athlete and a football player. I later learnt hockey, basketball, rugby, tennis, table-tennis, volleyball and swimming. It’s only cricket that I found boring and I didn’t play it. I was also a striker for Nsibirwa Hall between 2000 and 2002 at Makerere University.

What made you special as a sportsman?

First of all I had the gift of speed. This made me have an edge over most of my adversaries. Then again I have a lot of commitment in what I do. I really train a lot because someone advised me that a sportsman is just as good as he trains. It’s through training that one improves his skills.

You decided to play competitive basketball yet you already have rugby to take care of.

 From 1996 up to 1999, I played basketball for Power as a shooting guard until I decided to join rugby. Rugby had become very competitive and demanding with international games too. So, I decided to concentrate on rugby. But during the close season of rugby, I used to play with Power players pick-up basketball up until now. Since I’m a Power fan, Peter Mubanda, the technical director of Power convinced me to return to the game because he says he liked what I did as a sportsman.

How will you balance between Kobs and Power?

By the way, it won’t be a problem at all. I will be training twice a week at Power and then thrice a week at Kobs. And then of course, basketball games are normally played on Wednesday and on Friday. It’s rare that the big games are played on Saturday or Sunday. Besides, rugby games are played on Saturday, so it’s kawa!
Let me tell you something; whatever I put my heart in to do, I make sure that I go all out to execute my duties for the good of my team. I hate a situation where I mock my teammates by not giving my all yet they expect that. If I didn’t feel I would give Power much, then I wouldn’t have signed for the team. I’m a winner and winners don’t give half-baked service.

What does your rugby coach at Kobs think about all this?

He’s very cool. I got his blessing but he cautioned me against subjecting rugby to a second class citizen. Provided I keep my rugby form, he’ll not have any problem with me playing basketball.

Which players do you think are the best at basketball?

Off cuff? I think it’s Norman Blick and I feel honoured to be on the same team. He’s really a complete player. He can point, shoot, dribble and post. He plays in all positions. If that aint a special talent then I don’t know what is. Players like Sam Obol (Falcons), Ronnie Kasewu (Warriors) and Ivan Enabu (UCU Canons) are immensely talented players too and their game can be hard to cope with.

How long do you hope to be in basketball and rugby?

I don’t see myself going beyond 34 years as a player. In fact after I have retired, I intend to set up a rugby academy for kids. Later on, I hope to become a rugby coach helping tutor kids especially in schools. I will also be part of the Power administration. I’ve discovered that I can be a sports psychologist and that is something I intend to pursue in order to lift the morale of teams that need psyching up.

What’s your take on the current rugby wrangles involving Kobs and the Union?

I think there were a lot of emotions involved in decision making. Anger could’ve affected judgment. Fighting will not help but let all the warring parties just sit and talk for the good of the game.

You are known to be a ladies’ man. How do you handle the advances from ladies?

Temptations are always there in life but I have a great wife and child. Also, I’ve built a lot of respect from my fans and we just remain friends. In addition to that, I always have the support of my wife. She is a pillar of strength. Since she’s a rugby fan, I normally have her on my side and then of course with the will of God I’m able to be a trustworthy man and nothing can cost me the stability of my family…nothing.

What’s your biggest achievement in Rugby?

Winning the Africa Rugby Cup was massive. I was also proud to captain the national sevens team at the Common Wealth games in Melbourne Australia in 2006. It was good to be a rugby MVP in 2003 and also being voted by USPA as the best rugby player in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007 was humbling indeed.

Any final remarks?

Let people come and watch basketball. This season is going to be like no other. All teams are well equipped with top players and the competition is going to be at its peak. The ties are certainly going to be close match-ups with little separating the teams. You can’t miss.

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