In a heartfelt recognition of his commitment to community service, Tonny Drileba, a standout player for the City Oilers in Uganda, has been awarded the prestigious 2023 Basketball Africa League (BAL) Ubuntu Trophy.
The announcement was made in collaboration with New Fortress Energy Inc., a global energy infrastructure company that shares a vision for clean energy and community empowerment.
Drileba’s unwavering dedication to making a positive impact in the lives of young people in Uganda played a pivotal role in securing the accolade.
Throughout the 2023 BAL Season, he consistently organized basketball clinics and life-skills seminars for boys and girls from underserved communities in the capital city of Kampala.
Additionally, as an assistant coach for the Angels Basketball Club, a professional women’s team in the Ugandan Basketball League, Drileba actively participated in community outreach projects nationwide, including events at the Nakivale Refugee Camp in Western Uganda.
The BAL Ubuntu Trophy, awarded annually, recognizes individuals or organizations that have significantly contributed to their local communities during the BAL season.
In acknowledgment of Drileba’s remarkable efforts, the BAL and presenting partner NFE will donate $5,000 to a charitable organization of his choice in Uganda.
Expressing his gratitude, Drileba humbly stated, “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. Going forward, I am excited to continue working with the youth, empowering them through basketball and bringing positive change to the disadvantaged communities.”
BAL President Amadou Gallo Fall praised Drileba’s exemplary leadership and consistent service, emphasizing the transformative power of basketball beyond the court.
Notable past winners of the BAL Ubuntu Trophy include Hichem Benayad-Cherif from Algeria’s Groupement Sportif des Pétroliers in 2021 and Jean-Jacques Nshobozwabyosenumukiza from Rwanda Energy Group Basketball Club in 2022.
During the 2023 BAL Season, Drileba showcased his basketball prowess by averaging 5.6 points in three games against tough opponents like the Cape Town Tigers, Ferroviàrio da Beira, and Petro de Luanda.
His contributions extended beyond the BAL season, representing Uganda in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup African Qualifiers and the 2021 FIBA AfroBasket tournament.
As the basketball community celebrates Drileba’s well-deserved recognition, the anticipation for the upcoming 2024 BAL Season builds.
Scheduled to tip off on Saturday, 9 March, 2024, at the SunBet Arena in Pretoria, South Africa, the fourth season promises excitement as it expands to include 48 games across four countries—South Africa, Egypt, Senegal, and Rwanda.
Fans eager to witness the action can register their interest in tickets at BAL.NBA.com, eagerly awaiting updates on team lineups, conferences, and the full game schedule in the coming months.