What you need to know:
- Principal Secretary for Sports Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia promised government support to the basketball fraternity
- KBF president Otula was full of praise for the government and sponsors Badoer Investment
- AfroCan top scorer Tyler Okari reflected on the final where they lost 61-82 to DR Congo
Business at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) came to a standstill as the history-making Kenya national men basketball team landed early Monday morning to a hero’s welcome.
The Morans, who made history by winning the first ever medal by a basketball team in a continental event, arrived to raucous applause from Isukuti dancers as well as Nairobi City County dancers who filled the air with popular Luhya songs ‘Rero ni rero’ and ‘Mwana wa Mberi'.
Principal Secretary for Sports Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia, Commissioner of Sports Japson Gitonga and Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) president Paul Otula were among the dignitaries who had turned up to welcome the team that bagged silver at the inaugural Fiba Africa Cup of Nations (AfroCan) reserved for Africa-based players at the weekend.
Kaberia promised government support to the basketball fraternity. “We will continue to support the team,” he said adding that there was a new trend developing in other sports disciplines that are putting Kenya on the global map. “We can now talk of Harambee Stars going to Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon), Chipu (Kenya’s Under-20 rugby team) was recently in Brazil where they did us proud, Safari Rally is coming up, and now basketball… most players were not born when Kenya posted such good results. This is a big testament to where Kenya is going as a sporting country. My hope is that Kenya will be amongst top-five countries in the world someday.”
Kaberia also challenged corporates to partner with federations to support sports in the country.
“Without their help, the government cannot be able to sponsor all our teams with everything they need,” said Kaberia.
KBF president Otula was full of praise for the government and sponsors Badoer Investment who kitted Morans and have also sponsored KBF to the tune of Sh100 million for the next five years.
“Talent in this country is huge, and this team has just confirmed that. Discipline carried them to where they are today. They stayed focused on representing Kenya,” said Otula.
AfroCan top scorer Tyler Okari reflected on the final where they lost 61-82 to DR Congo.
“The final was good, they were just better than us. But, we have gained experience and the next time we meet them we will be better.” offered the Denmark-based shooting guard.
From JKIA, the Morans boarded trucks from the Sonko Rescue Team specifically hired and branded to take the team on a victory parade through Outering Road, Jogoo Road, Shauri Moyo, Pumwani, Kariokor, Central Business District and finally Crown Plaza where they were hosted to breakfast courtesy of Nairobi governor Mike "Sonko" Mbuvi and KBF partners Badoer Investment.
Sonko also gave the team a token of Sh1 million in cash.