DAKAR, Senegal, January 30, 2024/ — The Basketball Africa League (BAL) and New Fortress Energy Inc. – a global energy infrastructure company founded to help accelerate the world’s transition to clean energy – today announced that Tonny Drileba, who played for the City Oilers (Uganda) during the 2023 BAL Season, has been awarded the 2023 BAL Ubuntu Trophy in recognition of his ongoing efforts to use the game of basketball to positively impact the lives of youth in his native Uganda.
Throughout the year, Drileba regularly hosted basketball clinics and life-skills seminars for boys and girls from underserved communities in Kampala. As an assistant coach for Angels Basketball Club – a professional women’s team that competes in the Ugandan Basketball League – he participated in the club’s community outreach projects across the country, including youth clinics and life-skills seminars at Nakivale Refugee Camp in Western Uganda.
The BAL Ubuntu Trophy is awarded annually to an individual or organization that has made an impact on the local community during the BAL season. In recognition of Drileba’s efforts, the BAL and NFE – presenting partners of the Ubuntu Trophy – will donate $5,000 to a charitable organization of his choice in Uganda.
“I am extremely humbled to have won this award, which in all hope will shine more light on the social issues I have sought to tackle in my community,” said Drileba. “Going forward, I am excited to continue working with the youth, empowering them through basketball and bringing positive change to the disadvantaged communities.”
“The BAL Ubuntu Trophy recognizes outstanding leadership and consistent acts of service that uplift people and communities,” said BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall. “Tonny’s efforts are inspiring to the entire BAL family and a testament to the transformative power of basketball and its ability to be a force for good beyond the court.”
Previous BAL Ubuntu Trophy winners include Hichem Benayad-Cherif (Algeria’s Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers; 2021) and Jean-Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza (Rwanda Energy Group Basketball Club; 2022).
During the 2023 BAL Season, Drileba averaged 5.6 points in three games against the Cape Town Tigers (South Africa), Ferroviàrio da Beira (Mozambique) and Petro de Luanda (Angola). He also competed at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers and the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket tournament as a member of the Uganda Men’s National Team.
The BAL’s expanded fourth season will tip off on Saturday, March 9, 2024, at the SunBet Arena in Pretoria, South Africa. The 2024 BAL season will feature the top 12 club teams from 12 African countries playing a record 48 games in Pretoria; Cairo, Egypt; Dakar, Senegal; and Kigali, Rwanda over four months, marking the first BAL games in South Africa and the first time the league will play games in four different countries. Fans can register their interest in tickets to games in all four markets at BAL.NBA.com.
The 12 BAL teams, conferences, game schedule and additional information about the 2024 BAL season will be announced in the coming months.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Basketball Africa League (BAL).