By Brian Asiimwe
UCU Canons point guard Fayed Baale has played a key part in some of the club’s best moments including reaching the 2019 National Basketball League Playoff Final.
The guard reflects on various career highlights thus far that have seen him grow into one of the most promising talents in the game.
“I used to play soccer before basketball and my nickname was Ronaldinho because of the skill I had and it played a role in me starting to play basketball in terms of footwork mainly,” Baale said.
“I started playing basketball in my high school in form two at Mashariki High School after I got to see a newly constructed court at school.”
“I tried it out and when the coach saw me dribble for the first time he was impressed,” Baale added.
The 20-year-old attributes his growth in the game to time spent playing for lower league side REZ life and Life Church Hoovers before joining the UCU Canons on a sports scholarship.
“Those are the teams that groomed and I’ve been groomed by playing in the lower leagues and also with the U-18 under coach Nick, the Afrobasket, and 3×3 tournaments so I got see so many players with better skills and talents which made me a better player,” he commented.
Baale says getting summoned to the senior men’s national team, the Silverbacks for the 2019 FIBA AfroBasket qualifiers remains a special career moment.
“Being called to the national team was special and I do not take it for granted,” he continued.
“I remember going for the AfroBasket qualifiers in Tunisia which we did not play because of COVID-19 and had to be postponed and after the first time, I was called up for the first round of the World Cup qualifiers. I take it all seriously.”
Baale says recovering from a hand injury suffered in the first round when facing the City Oilers has been a tough process.
“It has not been easy coming back and it affects you mentally and with time I have realized the need to recover first before coming back to play and I’m getting better though it is a setback.”
Bbaale is also confident the UCU Canons are ready to win the title this season and are playing well.