KENYA will bring at least five diaspora-based players back home for the All Africa Games/Olympic qualifiers preparations.
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) secretary, Vitalis Gode, revealed that the coaches have been given the go-ahead to identify the players they think will add value to the team and start negotiations on how soon they can join the local-based squad.
Team coaches Ronny Owino, who is in charge of the women’s team and Cliff Owuor, who will take care of the men, have identified the players and are in talks with them. The local-based players have two training sessions weekly.
“We want to bring diaspora players to have a strong chance of qualifying. We have three players who have gone out of their way to make arrangements to come on their own and we appreciate their efforts. Now we will look for tickets for a minimum of five who will join them,” Gode said.
Already, a total of 11 men and women players, have been identified by the coaches and are reportedly keen. They are—Desmond Owili (Australia), Tylor Okari (Denmark), Kevin Oyugi, Bush Wamukota and Ronny Gundo (USA), Kennedy Oyugi (Canada) and Robert Nyakundi (France). The women include Felmas Koranga (USA), Mercy Wanyama (Spain), Velma Owino (Seychelles) and Rose Ouma (Dubai).
Gode said the federation will organise for a funds drive to raise between Sh350,000 and Sh500,000 for the tickets and internal logistics so as to prepare the teams adequately for the championship slated for Kampala, Uganda from June 25-July 1.
“We have realised that as we wait for government funding, we also need to do something to start off our training programmes,” he said, adding have identified friends that we will put on the funds’ management board. We will set a date for the funds drive and call upon the basketball fraternity to be ready to chip in,” he added.