What you need to know:
- Under coach Cliff Owuor, the team has had near flawless preparations despite Covid-19 challenges.
The Kenya national basketball team is in Kigali for this week’s 2021 Afro-Basket Championship qualifiers ready to showcase its prowess in the game.
The “Morans” face five-time African champions Senegal on Wednesday before taking on record 11-time champions Angola the following day, wrapping up their group outings against Mozambique on Friday. The qualifiers are divided into five groups with the three top teams from each group qualifying for next year’s continental finals. We can only wish the team well, as they have a mountain to climb.
Under coach Cliff Owuor, the team has had near flawless preparations despite Covid-19 challenges. The “Morans” are capable of ending the country’s long wait by qualifying for the 2021 Afro-Basket Championships planned for August 24 to September 5, also in Kigali.
The “Morans” cleared the first hurdle when they beat South Sudan, Burundi, Somalia, Tanzania and Eritrea in January in Nairobi to sail through to the qualifiers.
Equally laudable is the formation of the National Team Management Board to run its commercial and technical preparations. This will enable the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) to focus on the development of the game and the running of the league.
The government has also made available Sh5 million for allowances, accommodation and air travel with assets and leasing firm Rentco giving Sh3 million sponsorship and catering for playing kit worth Sh500,000. The National Olympic Committee of Kenya has also given the team equipment worth Sh500,000.
This solid support should go a long way in inspiring good results in Kigali for a return to the continental stage after a 27-year absence. However, in future, both the KBF and the government should provide proper training facilities alongside handsome rewards for achievement.
The last-minute rush to meet the needs of teams preparing for international competitions will not do. For now, let’s join the basketball family in wishing the “Morans” success in Kigali.