Umoja planning for top title

By The Standard: Friday, January 6th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Basketball
UoN Terror Club's Dan Nabuya, left and Martin Okwako of Umoja club during Nairobi Basketball Association's league at Nyayo, Gymnasium hall on sunday, May 15, 2016. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Newly promoted side to the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) Premier League Umoja will only give chance to young players who have never ventured into the KBF leagues.

This was announced by head coach Martin Okwako, a former Kenya international currently doubling as coach cum player at the club.
Okwako said he is a strong believer in giving young players a chance in the game and is the reason he will mostly be fishing his signings from high schools and from the estate clubs.
"There are a lot of talents going into waste in the counties especially in high schools. Most of these players will end up playing nowhere if their talents are not tapped and nurtured immediately after clearing their Form Four exams," he said
However, Okwako who linked up with the side from Uganda Christian University (UCU) Canons last year assured that he will not drop any of his charges who helped him to return the team back to the premier.
Umoja was relegated alongside University of Nairobi's Terror and Zetech University to the men's Division One League in 2015 but managed a successful comeback after ending the 2016 season on top of the Division One league. The other club that has also returned to the Premier is Zetech University who emerged runners up.
Okwako said he is proud of his achievement at the club despite them being self sponsored, adding that they only lost three games in the entire season.
"When I joined the club, Umoja was doing badly. Players lacked morale after the relegation's had to pump in enough adrenaline and introduce new techniques that helped us win a game at a time. Fortunately, the strategy worked out and we finished the regular season on top of the league," said Okwako.
Okwako is also proud of Erick Etemesi and Steve Kuta who have always dug deep into their pockets to salvage the club especially when the going gets tough.
"With their support we were able to attend away fixtures and acquire the necessary kits for the game," said Okwako.

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