By FP Reporter
Five players and alternate two were picked at the weekend to attend the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) camp in South Africa next month.
Bruce Ndikumana (Laiser Hill), Tyler Okari (Friends Kamusinga), Joseph Ouma (Shimo-la-Tewa), James Mathiang (Nairobi International) and Samuel Odera (Maseno) were selected from a pool of 35 players drawn from across the country.
The three-week Sprite Slam Basketball Talent Search tournament ended on Saturday after intensive two-day finals at the Railways Club, Nairobi. The alternate players are Bol Albino (Laiser Hill) and Mwalimu Kijogoo Heri (Shimba Hills). Juwan Antonio Howard (left) during the Sprite Slam basketball tournament at Railways Club on Saturday. Photo;Courtesy
Juwan Antonio Howard (left) during the Sprite Slam basketball tournament at Railways Club on Saturday. Photo;Courtesy
The selection was overseen by National Basketball Association (NBA) star, Juwan Antonio Howard, who plays for Charlotte Bobcats and is a former All-Star and All-NBA power forward in liaison with Kenya Basketball Federation coaches.
The players were taken through rigorous training and played a number of games against each other.
Howard noted he was impressed with the selected players as well as those that didn’t make it. "Kenya is definitely rich in talent. I had an opportunity to see the kids take on each other and I think they can go head to head with anyone in the world. Sprite Slam is definitely raising their game," he said.
The five will be joined at the BWB camp by 100 others selected from, among others, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Cameroon and Angola. The South Africa camp will run from September 1 to 7, conducted by a number of NBA players, coaches and managers.
The Sprite Slam Basketball tournament that started three weeks ago is sponsored by Coca-Cola East and Central Africa to the tune of Sh40 million. The company is investing the funds in the discovery of youth talent as well as refurbishing 50 basketball courts. Coca-Cola is collaborating with Miles and Associates International to manage the tournament.