UCU alum wins a scholarship to US college

By Ian Asabo
Ugandan basketball star Abby Priscilla has won a scholarship to study at Grayson College in Texas, USA. Abby, a Uganda Christian University (UCU) alumna, will pursue a bachelor’s in business administration course at the college.

Abby says winning the scholarship had a lot to do with her performance on the basketball court. The 19-year-old recently earned a call up to Uganda’s national women basketball team. The selection followed Abby’s exploits at the 3×3 Afro Varsity games in Nairobi, Kenya late last year. 

At the tournament, UCU’s women’s basketball team, the Lady Canons, which Abby was part of, emerged the best in Africa. For the feat, the Lady Canons will represent Africa at the universities’ World Cup in China, in October this year.

In the United States, Abby will play for Grayson College’s basketball team, The Vikings, in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. 

Abby Priscilla (blue) playing for the Lady Canons at the 3x3 Afro Varsity tournament in November 2021
Abby Priscilla (blue) playing for the Lady Canons at the 3×3 Afro Varsity tournament in November 2021

“This scholarship is a big step for me because I am going to the United States, where their basketball programs set the standard for the world,” said Abby, who received a Diploma in Business Administration, at UCU’s 22nd graduation ceremony on October 22, 2021. 

She added: “Studying at Grayson College gives me an opportunity to compete against the best players and teams in the world.” 

Abby noted that playing basketball at such a level will make her not only a better athlete but also a competitive one. 

One of the people Abby looks up to is Ugandan professional basketball player Claire Lamunu. And it looks like Abby will not just end at admiring Lamunu’s basketball skills. She is also following in her footsteps to a US university. In 2015, Lamunu joined Vanguard University in California to study biochemistry on a basketball scholarship.

Abby credits UCU Lady Canons and her teammates for pushing her to the heights, a place she had never even dreamed of reaching. 

“The team is my family and that is one of the reasons Lady Canons has been this successful,” Abby stated, adding: “I will always carry with me the memories of us winning competitions, as well as how we bounced back as a team whenever we lost a game.”

UCU basketball head coach, Nicholas Natuhereza, attributed Abby’s success to hard work, consistency and passion for the game. 

“When she joined the team, she showed she had potential to be an important player for us,” Natuhereza said, noting that when they gave Abby the opportunity to play, she did not disappoint them.  

Abby praised Natuhereza for being “someone influential” to her, both on and off the court, including instilling in her the basic principles of living the life of an athlete which, she says, have been valuable in her development.

Abby, however, acknowledges that the journey has not been an easy one. She says it was tough balancing performance on the court, as well as in class, which was the primary reason she was in UCU. However, she believes that the challenges only worked to motivate her to put in more effort both in the classroom and on the court. After all, her challenges were what every student-athlete goes through – striking a balance between class and basketball court performance.

For now, her mind will be on the conference games with her name team, the Grayson College Vikings in California.