Nsubuga Ronnie
Nsubuga Ronnie
Founder of Crystal Models Africa Founder of Pearl of Africa Fashion Alliance Casting Director Fashion Show Producer Model Scout Pageant Coach Fashion & Image Consultant
Nsubuga Ronnie




Ateng Emmanuel is a Ugandan professional basketball player for the Falcons Basketball Club of the Federation of Uganda Basketball Association (FUBA).

Ateng Emmanuel was Born on 23rd March 1989, in Nsambya Hospital, Kampala. Ateng Emmanuel Commonly known as AT became a top basketball star in Falcons, a Top Ugandan Basketball Club under the National Basketball League. His Passion for basketball was greatly motivated by his brother leading him to start the game at 16 years of age at Kitante hill school

In an interview with Nsubuga Ronnie, Ateng shared his thoughts, experiences, and aspirations to the world thus becoming one of the first Talented Athletes to share his experiences with our Star Adventures category aimed at telling stories and experiences from talented Ugandan Stars.

Below is the transcript of his interview-

1. Who is Ateng Emmanuel?

It’s a tough question to answer, but I’d say that I am a reserved and quiet person although I have moments where I do talk a lot. I am born again and love God. One of my favorite things to do is laugh and make people laugh. If I could do that the whole day, life would be so much fun.

2. Describe yourself in three words…

  • Calm
  • Quiet
  • passionate

3. What motivated you to become a basketballer?

The motivation came from the fact that my big brother was a good basketballer and so I wanted to be better than him. The moment I achieved that, being better than everyone else became my motivation.

4. What other sports do you love other than basketball?

I played soccer as a kid but it wasn’t so much fun. I’d say its basketball all the way for me but if I had an opportunity to play American football, I would.

5. Who would you most like to play one-on-one, either active or retired? Why?

Internationally, I would want to play against Michael Jordan because he is the GOAT. Back home, it would have to be Steven Omony because he is one of the best players Uganda has ever had

6. What do you consider the biggest achievement of your career so far?

Getting a scholarship to play college basketball. It was a prayer come true. Most players pray for an opportunity to play outside the country and I got that opportunity. Plus, I and the team

had a lot of success during our time in college.

7. Who inspires you? And why?

My mom inspires me. It’s amazing to see how much she has put into making sure that we grow up to be good people. Her relentless prayers, sacrifice, hard work and all that inspires

me to continue pushing through life and becoming a better person.

8. What do you know about Nsubuga Ronnie.

I have known Ronnie since we were younger, playing basketball at the pool court. He has grown to be a very successful and accomplished individual in the area of fashion, creativity, and the like. His work with Crystal Models is truly inspiring. He has the passion to promote others as testified by the many success stories many would tell you. He is a cool guy, humble, and down-to-earth.

9. What else do you do besides basketball?

Apart from playing, I coach. I work with a lady’s team called Angels Basketball Club, and also give time working with younger players. Away from Basketball, I work in the media field as a presenter, director, producer, and content creator. Right now, I work at House of Talent TV.

10. How tall are you and what do people say about your height.

I am 6.5ft. people say different things. Some people say ‘American Height’, others wonder how someone can grow that tall, the funniest I’ve heard is always a question about what should one eat to grow that tall? My answer is always that people should eat spaghetti without breaking it haha.

11. Do you think the life of a basketballer is tough compared to other professionals?

I wouldn’t say that it is tougher than for other professionals. However, it is a tough life considering all the time and investment that goes into becoming an elite player. There is a lot of training that involves drills that make you evaluate your life, it takes a mental toll on you, it takes very many hours every year to become really good considering that u also have to fight factors like injury, aging, and the like. But perhaps one of the hardest parts is the financial aspect. Basketballers are not paid as much as they should. So, it’s a case of you investing a lot into the game and don’t get back anything from it apart from verbal appreciation which doesn’t pay the bills. So, it takes balancing basketball and other hustles to survive especially in Uganda.

12. Who is your favorite sports hero?

Michael Jordan. I grew up watching his highlights and wanting to be like him.

13. Who do you wish was watching you perform at every game or match?

My parents. My dad passed away without ever watching me play. My mom has never had the opportunity to watch me play. So, for every accolade I get, I take it home and give it to her. I pray she gets the opportunity to watch me one day though.

14. What is your favorite song to listen to prior to any game?

Very interesting question. The songs keep changing depending on how I feel. Sometimes I even listen to worship music to calm me down. However, some of the songs I can remember are; Go Hard, Go Home by Lecrae, Fight from the Creed movie. But hip-hop music is always good to get that mental edge.

15. According to you, what qualities make a teammate a good team captain?

  • Good communication skills. This involves listening, analyzing, reacting, and understanding how to interact with each individual. This is the most important according to me.
  • Ability to lead and also follow
  • A bonus would be the ability to pray because sometimes dealing with people needs divine intervention

16. What is the one thing you always do after a good game?

I always say a prayer to thank God, thank my team and the coach, get a good stretch and go home.

17. What do you do to calm your butterflies while you compete?

I try to laugh as much as possible especially during the warm-up with the team. This allows me to forget about the anxiety of the moment. I also remind myself that I’ve put in the work so I deserve to be there.

18. At what age did you start basketball and where?

I started at the age of 16 in high school. That was at Kitante Hill School.

19. Who inspired you as a young athlete?

I was inspired by a lot of guys at the court where I used to watch the ‘big boys’ play. Pool court at Makerere University had very talented guys and I drew a lot of inspiration from them.

20. Who is your favorite coach and why?

Sam obol. Until I met him, I learned basketball mostly by myself, watching other players, watching the NBA, and different tutorials. When I met him, he put into perspective the stuff I had learned and all that I had no idea about. More than that, he was a big brother and sometimes even a father figure. He taught us how to handle life outside the basketball court.

21. Do you think attitude is a factor in winning?

It’s one of the biggest factors in any area of life. You can only perform as well as your attitude. Attitude communicated to the body what needs to be done. So, if your attitude tends toward losing, the body cannot go against that. So always keep a positive and winning attitude for Success

22. How do you cope with the mental pressure faced during tournaments?

I prepare well for the tournament. I believe that if you are well prepared for a tournament or anything in life for that matter, the pressure will always be less or not there at all. But when I don’t prepare well for a tournament, I make sure that I go out there and give 120%.

23. Name five sports personalities you think all must follow.

  • Micheal Jordan
  • Lebron James
  • Venus and Serena Williams
  • Usain Bolt
  • Steph Curry

24. What sports other than basketball, do you think should be promoted in your country?

We can’t choose one sport over the other because if we did that, we would be picking someone’s dream over another. Every sport is important because of the sportsmen and women who invest their time, finances, and effort in it.

25. Your favorite holiday destinations.

I hardly go to any holiday destinations. But if I had the opportunity to pick one, that would have to be Los Angeles California. In Uganda, I’ve been to Queen Elizabeth National park and that was fun.

26. We all know you are successful in basketball, but do you remember your 1st success? Describe that moment.

What I consider my first success was being able to dunk the basketball. I always admired guys who could dunk and so I decided to put in a lot of work which was painful and hard. It all paid out the day I dunked. It was the best feeling ever. Gliding in the air, making it seem like everything was in slow motion for that moment.

 27. Tell us about your greatest achievement to date.

Apart from getting that basketball scholarship, the other achievement would have to be giving my life to Jesus Christ. You experience life differently when you connect with the creator. It’s not an easy life but it’s worth it. It’s also an investment into the afterlife.

28. How much consistency is required to be on top in your game?

There is a quote that we used to go by. It went something like ‘NO DAYS OFF. You have to do something related to your game every day in order to grow. A more important aspect that will help with consistency is discipline. This allows you to push through days when you just don’t feel like putting in the work.

29. What role does a coach play in the life of a basketballer?

A coach has many roles. Apart from teaching the game and making sure the team and players succeed, a coach is a friend, brother/sister, a father/ mother, counselor, therapist, motivator sometimes even a clown to make people happy. There is a lot that goes into being a good coach.

30. Why do you think your fans love you so much?

I’ve always wondered and would like to ask them. But I think the one thing is that I don’t consider people as fans. To me, they are friends. It always feels so weird when someone says that they are my fan, I usually don’t know how to react so I make sure we become friends instead. It’s more fun and easier that way.

31. Do you ever go to church and how do you dress up for it?

Yes, I like going to church. I haven’t had the opportunity to go in a while though because of lockdown and restrictions but can’t wait to attend church again. I make sure to dress up really well because I am going to the father’s house. It’s a matter of respect unless I was from a game and had to go in shorts.

32. Do you have any secret talent?

It wouldn’t be a secret if I told you guys hahaha. But I used to be a dancer hahaha.

33. How many hours do you sleep?

A minimum of 6 hours a night.

34. Do you like to go to the gym?

Yes, I love going to the gym. It’s hard and peaceful at the same time. Leg days are hell though but there is a feeling of accomplishment when it’s done.

35. Do you get time to spend with your family?

Yes, I do. Not all of them are in the same place because life gets busy but I try to.

36. Do you like to be compared with any other sportsperson?

Yes and no. yes because it helps me see who people think I compare to and no because it’s unfair sometimes, all sportspeople go through different situations so it’s unfair to compare them. But if someone says I play like someone in the NBA, I’ll take that.

37. According to you, what is the toughest aspect of being an athlete

Not being able to participate in your sport especially due to injury or some other factors. Athletes are used to moving their bodies so when we can’t do that, that’s harder than even training.

 38. How do you prepare for a match?

I make sure I hydrate, have a good meal, get a good warmup and stretch while listening to music, pray and get into action.

39. How do you want to be remembered as a player?

I want to be remembered as a player who inspired others and gave them an opportunity to be better and achieve their dreams and goals. A player who gave all I could on the court, a coachable player, and most especially one who helped others handle life off the basketball court.

40. Do you have any advice for young people who want to start a career in Basketball?

Yes, I do. This goes for other sports, talents, passions, and abilities. When you decide that you want to do something, don’t do it halfheartedly, go at it with all your might. Remember that you will age and at some point, you won’t be able to do all the stuff you could have done as a younger version of yourself. There is a verse in the bible that says ‘Whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave where you are going.’ Ecclesiastes 9:10. Use the time while you can. If you put in the work, the results will show, it’s like when you work out, you will eventually sweat.