Sarah Ageno is one of the most sought after forwards in the National Basketball League (NBL). The UCU Lady Canons skipper, whose main strength lies in defence made her first national appearance for the Uganda Gazelles 2015.
Her coach, Emmanuel Kiguyi, describes her as an intriguing player with a special skill of multi-tasking at a high level while on court.
As a young girl, Ageno started by playing netball not until 2010 while in senior Three when she picked interest in the game of basketball.
She was inspired by her siblings then, Richard Oketcho and Lakers Jacquline while in St Micheal. The two were on the school team at the time and sometimes trained with Ageno especially in the holidays.
She then picked interest and started playing the game in S.3 at St Micheal. A year later, she got a full sports scholarship that has lusted throughout her entire education.
Joining the Lady Canons.
While playing for Crane High in the National Basketball Schools’ Championships in Mbarara in 2012, Ageno was spotted by the then Director of Student Affairs (DOSA) of UCU and Coach Okello Boniface aka Oxy who later on approached her parents and agreed on a contract.
“I was signed and joined the Lady Canons in 2014 with full tuition and meals catered for,” she recalls.
However at that time, crane High had just qualified for the top flight league, meaning she had some experience and together with Rita Imanishimwe, a close friend and former teamate, they joined their new club.
It only took them a season to fit in before their fruits on court started yielding the next year.
Ageno won her maiden National Basketball League title with the Lady Canons in 2015 before going on to clinch her second one in 2016 and the third 2017.
She was part of the cream team that aided the Lady Canons to titles together with the likes of Vilma Achieng, Ritah Imanishimwe, Zainah Lokwameri Angellah, Judith Nansobya, and Rachael Muwanguzi among others steering their side to tremendous success.
This only motivated her to yearn for more glory as her team reached the 2018 league finals despite losing to the JKL Lady Dolphins.
Lokwameri describes her current captain as an aggressive figure on court who has maturity and composure.
“She is a motivating leader as well, ‘she adds.
In January, Ageno took part in the 3×3 FASU games in Nairobi wining gold with the Lady Canons.
Ageno also took part in the Gazelles side as they represented Uganda at the FIBA 3×3 World Cup qualifiers that took place from May 4-5 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean Island, where the team finished in the quarter finals.
The team also included Ritah Imanishimwe, Jamila Nansikombi and Claire Lamunu.
Her biggest challenge this season is matching up playing as a Centre player/ big man since there’s avoid in the team despite being a natural forward. However, she is copying well.
Besides that, Ageno reveals that as club captain, there is always pressure that comes with managing colleagues, academics although all she does is have a time table scheduling each activity.
This helps her overcome the burden the challenge that comes with the workload.
Ageno plans on playing the sport for a little more years although she prefers a new challenge abroad. This she believes will further motivate her to improve her game further but this will only happen after she completes her education combined with the availability of a good offer from an abroad well-established team knocking on the door for her services.
Sarah Ageno Juliet, 23, hails from Kitgum. The fifth born in a family of nine was born and raised by Jackson and Beatrice Ochaya.
She started her primary education at Tara primary school from p1-p5 before joining Kiwuliriza for her p6 – p7.
Ageno went on to join St Lawrence Horizon in 2008, for her senior one and Two before moving on to St Michael High School for senior three and four.
Her A level was at Crane High before joining Uganda Christian University (UCU) in 2014 for a fully sponsored Diploma in Child Development and Children’s’ Ministry.
Upon completion in 2006, she was further aide with another scholarship to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in the same course. Currently, she is in her third year.
Ageno who has won many other accolades is full of praise for her coaches, Emmanuel Kiguyi and Nicholas Natuhereza for the endless support rendered towards her career.