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KIU Sports Desk: Denis Balungu Aiming to Achieve Great Things Through Basketball


Isaac Akugizibwe

KIU, Main Campus - Denis Balungu is a Congolese professional basketball player for the KIU Titans in the Uganda National Basketball League. Widely considered one of the most talented small forwards in the league, 26-year-old Balungu is frequently referred to by fans as ‘The African Le Bron James’.

He first joined KIU Titans in 2017, signing a three-year contract that ended in 2019, in which he put in very impressive and consistent performances. He helped the Titans reach the 2017 National Basketball finals in his maiden season, which was also a first-ever finals appearance for the Titans.

Balungu (right) joined Power Basketball team which also plays in the Uganda National Basketball League when his contract expired in 2019 but he never played any game for them due to the COVID-19 pandemic that saw the 2020 season being cancelled.

The small guard who doubles as a shooting guard returned to KIU Titans- a club he calls home- in March 2021, signing a two-year contract that will see him stay with the Kansanga-based side until the end of 2022. 

Frequently praised by KIU Titans coach Brian Wathum for being a good shooter of the ball, Balungu is expected to improve the Titans shooting abilities ahead of the much-anticipated 2021 basketball league.

While growing up, Balungu played football just like most boys in Africa but soon it was evident enough that Basketball was where he belonged. His natural talent combined with passion and strong desire to be the best made him a very proficient young player that he became a prospect for many schools, basketball academies and clubs in DR Congo as early as 12.

He cut his teeth at Faraja High School in DRC, winning three National Inter-School Basketball Championships, being voted Most Valuable Player on all three occasions.

While playing for Faraja, he simultaneously featured for Goma Bulls Basketball Club, where he also won three championships for them, before joining KIU  Titans in 2017.

He wants to achieve more great things through Basketball just like his idol, Le Bron James.

Balungu studied Business Administration at KIU and is awaiting graduation in April.