02 December 2008

KENYA : Coach young players

Kenyans watched as foreign teams stole the show at the Africa women’s basketball club championships that drew to a close at the weekend in Nairobi with Mozambique’s Desportivo retaining their title by defeating Angola’s Primero de Agosto in the final.

Home teams Kenya Ports Authority and Eagle Wings failed to make the last four in the annual tournament.

With qualification tournaments for the 2012 Olympic Games not too far away, lessons have been learnt and the ball now lies squarely on the Kenya Basketball Federation court if our national teams are to make any impression in international competitions or qualify for the Olympics.

As teams prepare for the new season, it is imperative that the federation’s marketers get more aggressive and bag sponsorship deals that will increase the sport’s profile, especially in the Premier and National League competitions.

The dearth of club competitions is rather worrying and the gap between Kenyan clubs and the rest of the continent was quite obvious at the Nairobi championships.

The run-of-the-mill leagues are not doing any justice to the development of the game that has been seriously dented by the absence of a youth programme.

That the average age of Kenyan players was 30 as compared to 20 for the Mozambicans, Angolans and, indeed, most of the other clubs in the Nairobi tournament speaks volumes about the need to rethink the technical development of our junior basketball.

I personally prefer young players since they have higher potential.
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