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Ugandan brothers making waves at AfroBasket 2021 under watchful eye of mother Saira Ariko
KIGALI (Rwanda) - The joy of a mother is seeing the progress of her offsprings, and this was the feeling expressed by Mrs Eva Saira Ariko, mother of Uganda international players Adam Seiko and Arthur Kaluma.
Mrs Ariko has followed and supported her children' basketball careers since their early days in the sport, and when the opportunity to watch them play for the country of her birth came about, the USA-based Mrs Ariko wasted no time to join them in Kigali, where Uganda hope to compete for a Quarter-Final spot after winning their second game in the history of the competition on Friday after beating Cameroon.
"WHEN THEY BOTH MADE THE FINAL ROSTER OF THE NATIONAL TEAM, I MADE A PROMISE TO THEM THAT I WILL TRAVEL DOWN TO RWANDA TO BE PART OF THEIR SUPPORTERS AS MY KIDS AND THE UGANDAN TEAM, AS A PATRIOTIC CITIZEN."
Kaluma joined the Ugandan national team in the last window of the Qualifiers in February, but a few COVID-19 positives cases in the Ugandan delegation forced FIBA to postpone their games, which prevented Kaluma from debuting for the Silverbacks.
In July, however, the 2.01m (6ft 7in) forward played a huge role helping Rwandan beat Morocco in Morocco to ensure their return to the FIBA AfroBasket for the third straight time.
The 19-year-old's basketball journey has now taken him to a new level as he has recently joined Creighton Bluejays, a Division 1 college basketball programme in the USA.
His older brother Adam Seiko (22) made his Silverbacks debut early this week in a 93-55 defeat to Senegal. Seiko last played for the University of San Diego State Aztecs.
Mrs Ariko could not hide her joy after the final buzzer and she took out to share her joy with FIBA.basketball as she wished both her sons the very best in their national team careers.
"I am really elated first when they both made the final roster of the national team and I made a promise to them that I will travel down to Rwanda to be part of their supporters as my kids and the Ugandan team as a patriotic citizen," Mrs Ariko said.
Adam Seiko and his mother, Mrs Eva Saira Ariko,
"Honestly, it feels good for a mother to witness the progress of her children and I'm no an exception, I love them both and my wish for both of them is for them attain the highest level of their chosen career."
Both brothers reiterated their mother excitement as they took turns to bear their minds to FIBA.basketball.
Arthur Kaluma, the younger of the two siblings said: "I feel really good playing on the same team with my elder brother who has been the driving force behind the success I have attained today.
"Seiko does not just encourage me to push further in my career as my big brother but also as a mentor.
"I just can't describe the joy of being on the same team with him representing our country as we look forward to our final Group Phase game against South Sudan on Sunday."
On his part, Seiko has this to say about his younger brother: "I am happy with his progress in the game at the same time I am delighted that we both suit up our country and contribute immensely in the defeat of one of Africa top basketball playing nation, Cameroon."
Seiko had 20 points, two rebounds and two assists with an efficiency rating of nineteen, while Kaluma contributed 12 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks shots and efficiency of twelve in the big win over Cameroon, thus brightening their country chances in the race for a Quarter-Finals qualification.