Monday, 23 August 2010

Can Kenyan Basketball stop scoring in its own backyard?

This weekend, two Kenyan clubs managed to win the men's and women's Zone V basketball championships. Co-op Bank -men and the Eagle Wings  in the women's division are looking to conquer Africa for continental honours.  This is all well and good. But coming out the embarrassment that was the under-18 women's championships in Egypt due to age-cheating, something is amiss.
For sometime now, the local game has been under-performing due to the Kenya Basketball Federation's lack of drive to market the sport and see its potential in commercial interests. While other sporting disciplines such as football, rugby and athletics continue attracting sponsors, the game has not been able to seize the opportunities. While we are informed that there some efforts in the works from a team led by the Marketing team led by a lady and former player Cynthia Mumbo, a lot needs to be cultivated among the officials, media and concerned parties to ensure the game becomes a major force to reckon with.
The country needs to work with continental partners who can help improve our technical part since we shall be able to share notes with the countries from the region - Angola, Senegal, Nigeria come to mind. Spriteball Tournaments while always welcome should work to the Federation's favour and be able to nurture and expose talent to the best in the game. This is only possible if the Federations co-opts the corporate firms in not just sponsoring the one-off tournaments but have structured programmes from the high school level, colleges all the way to the club levels.
FIBA the world governing body has an open-door policy that should allow the local federation to bloom and realise its potential. There is also need to cultivate a more transparent office from the current officials who have not been able to endear to their continental partners. Tragedy is the fact that heading the Zone V of  the continental body is our very own Eng. Morris Aluanga - so much potential but little action since taking office for the local game.
Other News:
(Pau Gasol - Image courtesy of 2010 FIBA World Championships promo - Giants Get Together)

The FIBA World Championships starts in 5 days in the Turkish capital of Ankara and other cities in Turkey. The back-drop though is dominated by the USA team who's off-season trading consisted of some outrageous moves by free agents, Lebron James among others. How susceptible the side will be given the level of competition seen in previous championships means the ' Dream Team' shall not have easy passage again. Shall African representatives ; Angola, Cote de Ivoire and Tunisia give a good account of the continent? The tournament starts on 28th August.

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