After failing to make the final team for this year’s FIBA Africa Zone V tournament, Norman Blick has decided to retire from national duty.
The veteran revealed after the final team was named that he would not be considering working with the national team anymore.
With two days left until the start of the tournament tournament, head coach Mandy Juruni has named his 12-man squad to represent Uganda at the competition and Blick and UCU Canons captain Jonathan Egau were the two dropped players.
“It’s that time when a player’s nightmare -age- comes to pass. Failure to make it to the final list, I’ve decided to hang my boots and retire as a player for the national side,” Blick revealed immediately after the selection was done Wednesday night.
The five time national league champions also called upon the selected players to do their best and lift the national flag with pride.
“It’s been an honour to serve with you guys, the new guys please takeup the responsibility and take the game to another level. My sincere thanks to Hajji (Muhammad Santur) and management, coaches and all ma fans. Good luck in the upcoming campaign. I stand behind you. For God and My country.”
It is the second time Blick is being dropped from the national side having been left out of the team that featured at Uganda’s maiden Afrobasket appearance in 2015.
The biggest surprise on the team is UCU Canons’ forward Mike Madol, who has impressed during training and the two practice games the team had.
City Oilers duo of guard Jonah Otim and James Okello joins Pemba Warriors guard Mark Opio and Our Savior’s Joseph Chuma as the other newcomers to make the team.
Blick joins veteran Henry Malinga, who refused to honour the call up and decided to concentrate on his private work.
The team is set to travel for the tournament on Thursday night with two foreign based players expected to join them in Cairo.
Stanley Ocitti and Darius Pegues are the only foreign based players to link up with the side after John Balwigaire and Robinson Odoch were dropped for lack of enough funds.
Egypt won the last edition of Zone V which was held in Uganda in 2014 while the hosts qualified as second seed after trouncing Somalia, Kenya and Rwanda.