On Saturday I had a great opportunity to attend the All Star basketball event that was organized by Sports Connect Africa a sports consultancy founded by Cynthia Mumbo at the Kasarani Gymnasium. An event whose main aim was to showcase talent in the sport. It was my first time at the sports arena and the event started around 6pm. It was light, camera action. Both the men and ladies teams composed of students from different local universities divided into two teams; East and West.
The atmosphere was fantastic! The crowd was involved in every score, foul and flair! The ladies game kicked off the evening with the West dominating the first and second period. In the second half of the game the East team gained momentum and in the process got a lot of support from the fans but eventually the West won it 62-53!
Despite the loss, i had an opportunity to meet Caroline Nduta who stood out in East team and also a fan favorite. As a player for Nazarine University, she learnt about the event from her coach.” My goal is to go pro and play in Europe or States” says Caroline a statement echoed by most of the participants in the tournament.
East ladies comprised of Carolinee Nduta, Yvonne Peace Masila, Elizabeth Akumu, Maryann Nyagaki, Sharon Odera, Liz Abayo, Christine Achieng, Diana Wafula and Caroline Njeri.
West ladies comprised of Jemimmah Night Omondi, Irene Atieno, Teresa Ekise, Cherly Akoth, Sandra Ekisaba, Peace Osenah, Elizabeth Atieno and Sylvia Anyango.
In the men’s game, one could just admire the talent this country and sport has! It had a combination flair,tactics and individual quality. In this game the East dominated the first half, the team comprised of Faheem, Otsimi, Brian Ondiek, Peter Mundia, Joseph Irungu, Brian Oyoo, Bramwel Muchina, Collins Nyamweya, John Osoro, Kennedy Wachira, Mark Miruka, Sheldon Ouma and Pardy Owuor who eventually won 60-52 over the West which comprised of Philip Tobias, Davies Siaji, Peter Odhiambo, Liban Hussein, Paul Ekiru, Hezron Omondi, Derrick Olang, Ariel Ortega, Jeff Obuya, Keith Adams, Kjellan Otieno, Troy Yavin and Bertram Opiyo.
All in all this type of event has the potential to expose our talent to the world but more has to be done. The team selection should be made in a way that it attracts the best of the best and also incentives should be a must for example the winning team to go to the USA and watch NBA game just to encourage these players that dreams can come true.
Indeed an event that has a lot of potential for the sport in the country!