I was at a basketball game on Friday. A game fancily dubbed ‘Friday Night Lights’. It was actually a series of games and Friday was the climax. The concept: professional basketball players each get a team of their own with random people. Boda boda riders, former local artists like Ziggy Dee and taxi conductors all get their chance to sweat it out next to the pros. Sauna with the pros sans paying for it. Ok, a more accurate description of the random people on the teams is basketball fans, non-professional players and the old timers (dudes and duddettes who used to play the jumpy game but are no longer active players).
When you get to YMCA (for that is where these games take place), turn left. Whatever you do, turn left. You will find this tip very helpful. No one warned me so when I got to that gate, I turned right. Heavy music. Sweaty writhing bodies. Darry Dancing. They were like 2000 beings clammed into a space big enough to accommodate 12 people dancing squeeze. And all 2000 of them were dancing.
So turn left. The games have a big following. So you need to get there early to get a good seat. Then you need to occasionally shout some basketball lingua not to look like a fala with no big balling skills.
A walk: This is when a player picks up the ball and strolls with it without bouncing it. You see, the game is about bouncing the ball. So at all times, players need to show commitment to bouncing the ball
A foul: This is what you should eat while the guys and girls sweat it out for your entertainment. It is also what the referee calls for when one player does bad manners to another player
A moonwalk: This is what the entertainment in-between breaks does. Unique, a Uganda roko artis, was there entertaining us
Dunk: This is when a player gets the ball and squeezes it into the basket with a lot of energy and then he/she keeps holding the basket and swinging on it while screaming fashionable things like “Jyeah!!!” and “Yay!!!”. A soccer equivalent would be someone kicking the ball into the net and then following it there and squeezing the net.
All the teams that played had the kind of names that a happy Friday reveler cannot be tasked with remembering. But team orange had all these people that kept doing dunks out of the blue. And they had this very energetic lady on team that gave the guys a run for their money. There was a prize of 1 million Ug shillings from HOT LOAF for the best dunk of the game. Unlike us, the weather was not enjoying the game. It started bitching. My company and I signed out before the gods could send their Friday blessings. The games are nice alternative to the scripted Ug nightlife.