Kampala. Smith Okumu has for years settled for the role of silent and unsung hero in Nemostars dominance in volleyball over the last five years.
The setter oils the machine that is Nemostars with his consistency in rightly picking out who among Wilfred Masaba, Fahad Zungu, Tom Paul Amou and the evergreen and more popular George Aporu among others – should tear through opponents at different points in games.
Okumu and Aporu, were yesterday morning nominated, alongside Uganda Christian University (UCU) Doves’ captain John Mark Okurut for the Most Valuable Player (MVP) accolade – at the Uganda Volleyball Federation (UVF) 2018 Awards Gala due today at D’Mellos Restaurant.
Okumu has a head start to capitalize over his competitors including Aporu who has won this award four times since 2013.
He was in January named Uganda Sports Press Associataion (USPA) volleyballer of the year 2018 and, also received the loudest plaudits from coach Andrew Okapis, as the man that settled the Aziz Damani National League finals their way at the expense of UCU. All that on top of being Nemo’s most consistent and available player during the league.
Okumu is also nominated for Best Setter alongside UCU duo Marino Oboke and Moses Odeke.
UCU also have their attacking duo of Johnson Rukundo and Jonathan Tumukunde battling it out with Aporu for Best Attacker while Okurut will hope the Best Blocker’s award goes to him at the expense of teammate Samuel Engwau and Nemo’s Deans Aloka.
In the ladies’ category, Nkumba University’s attacking duo of Habiba Namala and Astreede Abigaba lock horns with Ndejje’s Joan Tushemirirwe and Sharon Amito for the Best Attacker and MVP awards respectively.