What you need to know:
- The 10-member board, whose key responsibilities will be resource mobilisation for national teams among others, will operate independently according to KBF chairman Paul Otula
- According to Otula, the board - which will be given a four-year mandate - will also operate it's own bank account as they strive to give the national men and women basketball teams the best preparations ahead of international assignments
The Kenya Basketball Federation has unveiled the national basketball teams management board as men's team, Kenya Morans, stepped up their training at Nyayo National Stadium ahead of Afrobasket qualifiers set for Kigali from November 26.
The 10-member board, whose key responsibilities will be resource mobilisation for national teams among others, will operate independently according to KBF chairman Paul Otula.
The board will be led by Thomas Kwaka aka Big Ted. It also has Kenya Ports Authority head of administration Bildad Kisero, Florence Sumbeiyo of Kenya Pipeline, Morris Alwanga of Machakos County Government, Eugene Ganga of Kenyatta National Hospital and Riziki Mayienga of Stanbic Bank.
Others are Cecafa secretary general Auka Gacheo, Willis Angira, Martha Githui Bett and Ceaser Handa while Ben Wanjara and George Mboya will coordinate the diaspora.
According to Otula, the board - which will be given a four-year mandate - will also operate a bank account as they strive to give the national men and women basketball teams the best preparations ahead of international assignments.
"This is a very brave board to accept responsibility despite the challenges everybody is going through. They have set an example to other boards that you do not need to come in when things are very green and good. Their support is also needed even when the going is tough," said Otula.
Otula revealed that Wanjara and Mboya have managed to coordinate the diaspora to provide tickets for US-based Ronnie Gundo and Preston Bungei, who plays in Australia.
"Morans will be among the team sports in Kenya preparing for serious competitions under very challenging circumstances, among them isolation, coronavirus, training under tough conditions, depending on people's pockets and cannot even organise friendly matches because of the pandemic," Otula said while praising the players for showing good fighting spirit.
"I want to thank the board members for coming to support when they know very well that conditions are very tough. The economy has shrunk, corporates have made a lot of losses and are not readily coming out to support activities but still this is a board that has stepped forward to walk the journey with the Morans," said Otula as he called on corporates to support the team.
Otula singled out for praise Eugene Genga, a medical doctor, who has gone beyond the call of duty to mentor players on safety measures to prevent contracting coronavirus which would see the team miss out on the trip to Rwanda.
Otula thanked the government for allowing Morans to train amid the pandemic.
Morans head coach Cliff Owuor said players have been responding well to training and urged the federation to ensure the team starts residential training by Monday to work on chemistry.
"I am very happy with the close to 10 players I have been working with locally and believe the arrival of foreign legion beginning tomorrow (Saturday) will add the much-needed competition," Owuor said.
While Gundo and Bungei are expected on Friday, Tyler Okari and Desmond Owili are yet to confirm their arrival dates as they are still engaged with their clubs in Denmark and Australia respectively.