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Date with a celeb :Basketballer Joseph Ikong meets fan, Dorcus Bagiire

Bagiire and Ikong at Hotel Africana   PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE

Bagiire and Ikong at Hotel Africana PHOTO BY ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE

He’s regarded as one of the finest basketballers in the country. He’s the captain of the best basketball team in Uganda and has been voted Most Valuable Player in almost all competitions he has participated in. Joseph Ikong met his fan Dorcus Bagiire, a graduate of Mass Communication at Makerere University at Hotel Africana.            

What is your highest score ever in a single game?
50 points against Barkley. That was three years ago.

How tall are you?
I’m 6.4ft.

When did you start playing basketball?
In 2001, in my senior five at Old Kampala S.S.

Which teams have you played for so far?
Makerere Heaters and Power Basketball Club, the African University team and I have been on the national team since 2004.

Briefly tell me about yourself.
I was born in a family of nine. I am from the great Omodo Anyuru family. I’m a graduate of IT from Makerere University. I am a staunch Christian who goes to Kampala Baptist Church and I am the captain of the Power basketball team.

How successful are you in basketball?
Very successful. I have won almost all accolades in the tournaments I have participated in. I have been voted the Most Valuable Player more than once, I have three league championships, I have won eight dunking competitions, I was the top scorer in 2010 and I’m also a mini basketball coach with Excel Basketball camps under Pamoja Afrique.

Who is you idol in basketball?
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Vince Carter.

Who do you consider the best basketballers in Uganda?
Henry Malinga and Ben Komakech. Norman Blick and Steven Omony are also good.

It’s pretty hard to only survive on basketball in Uganda, what else do you do for a living?
Since I studied IT, I do IT gigs but not on a permanent level. I also do money lending and my family has some businesses I run as well.

How much do you earn playing basketball? Break it down for me.
Really? I get a good salary. I’m among Uganda most paid basketballers. It’s me, Koma and Norman Blick who earn the biggest salaries, thanks to Dmark Mobile our sponsors and Power Basketball. Let’s leave the numbers out because some people might start following me.

Has basketball been what you’ve always wanted to do?
Not really, I was previously a footballer and played for Uganda’s under 12 team in 1997. I grew up wanting to be a lawyer but I guess after my Masters degree, I will end up in the field of information systems.

Where do you usually hang out?
I hang a lot. Lately its Legends at Kampala Rugby Club,  but I also hang at YMCA in Wandegeya.

Which schools did you attend?
Kampala Primary School till 1997, Kasubi Secondary School till 2002, Old Kampala SS until 2004, then Makerere University, which I left in 2008 with an IT degree before I joined the National Software Incubation Centre, under the Rockefeller Foundation in 2009.

Where do you see yourself a couple of years from now?
I see myself going back to school for two years to pursue my Masters, then I will do business, but I want to ensure Uganda plays in the African Championships and Olympics before I retire.

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