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Uganda Lacrosse Team Dreams Big On World Stage

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DENVER (CBS4) – Just competing against other nations is a dream for Uganda’s lacrosse team.

The sport reached Uganda, an eastern African nation, just four years ago. That’s a steep learning curve for a team with few players with more than a year’s experience.

“We are not the best lacrosse players, but at the same time we are ambassadors for our country and, most especially, ambassadors for this sport,” Patrick Oriana, a midfielder and the team’s captain, told CBS4.

But they competed — and won, if briefly — at the World Lacrosse Championships in Denver this month. The team emerged victors in just one game out of seven — a 10-9 tilt over Korea in which “goals were flowing in like water,” Amone says. But they’re winners in humility.

“I don’t do great playing goalie, no? No, not every day,” Allan Amone says. “I feel good just if I save the ball and it doesn’t go in the net. I feel proud.”

Oriana says he’s learned a lot: “There’s been lots of lessons that young people can learn from us. You learn the world is still hopeful. Never to give up in life.”

The Ugandan team’s story inspired a documentary film called “Kandote,” translated to English as “to dream.”

Oriana offers a more specific description: “It means let me dream. How big a dream is this? So big, so big.”

The film focuses on five players who took to lacrosse amid domestic and family turmoil. The team viewed the film for the first time Wednesday night in Denver.

“We are one family in lacrosse,” one player says in the film. “It makes me forget everything. I release my body. When I’m there on the pitch, I concentrate on the pitch. And I be happy.”

And “the happiest day,” Amone says, was the team’s victory against Korea.

“It was a dream,” he says. “Actually, we called it Dream 2014. We’re living it now.”

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