SCHOOLS: Agoro Sare rising from the ashes to conquering basketball court

Agoro Sare point guard Clinton Wambugu in action against Maseno School.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

In the heart of Homa Bay County, nestled amidst the serene landscape, lies Agoro Sare High School—a bastion of basketball excellence.

This month, they etched their name in the annals of Nyanza Region Secondary School basketball history, ending a five-year drought by clinching the coveted spot in the Kenya Secondary School Sports Association (KSSSA) National Term One games.

Agoro Sare players train ahead of the national finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Their journey from obscurity to triumph is a testament to resilience, skill, and unwavering determination.

The road to redemption began at the Nyanza Region Term One games hosted at Kisumu Boys High School, where Agoro Sare showcased their dominance with an unbeaten streak.

Agoro Sare captain Ghaal Akech (left) in action against Maseno School.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

The climax came in a heart-stopping final showdown against former champions Maseno School, where Agoro Sare emerged victorious with a narrow 50-44 win.

The celebrations reverberated through the county as Agoro Sare reclaimed the throne and punched their ticket to the national stage, marking a return after a hiatus since 2019.

Agoro Sare coach Benson Ochieng (far right) lines up with his team.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Benson Ochieng, the mastermind behind Agoro Sare's resurgence, attributes the success to sheer hard work, dedication, and strategic planning. His unwavering commitment to nurturing talent and instilling a winning mentality within his team has been pivotal.

Ochieng's strategic prowess and meticulous preparation have propelled Agoro Sare back to the summit of Nyanza basketball, inspiring a generation of young athletes along the way.

Agoro Sare basketball team.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

As Agoro Sare gears up for the national challenge, Ochieng remains undaunted by the formidable opponents awaiting them in Group B.

With powerhouse teams like Dr Aggrey from the Coast, former national champions Sigalame Boys from Western, and Pioneer School from Central, Ochieng acknowledges the daunting task ahead but remains resolute in his approach.

"We respect our opponents, but we fear none. Our focus is on executing our game plan and ensuring we advance to the knockout stages," said Ochieng.

Agoro Sare captain Ghaal Akech (left) in action against Maseno School.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Reflecting on their past achievements, Ochieng is determined to surpass their previous feat of clinching third place at the nationals in 2019. With meticulous preparation and a hunger for success, Agoro Sare aims to make a resounding statement on the national stage, propelled by their coach's unwavering belief in their abilities.

Agoro Sare players train ahead of the national finals.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

For team captain Ghaal Akech, the memories of their commendable fifth-place finish during the 3x3 Term Two games last year serve as fuel for their aspirations this time around.

Akech epitomises the team's resilience and determination, drawing inspiration from past successes to fuel their quest for glory at the upcoming nationals.

Agoro Sare Principal Isaac Okeyo during an interview with The Standard Sports.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Principal Isaac Okeyo, a staunch supporter of sports at Agoro Sare, emphasises the pivotal role sports play in holistic student development.

"Sports instill discipline, teamwork, and resilience, essential qualities that transcend the court and prepare students for life's challenges," said Okeyo.

Agoro Sare Principal Isaac Okeyo during an interview with The Standard Sports.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

He champions a culture of sportsmanship and excellence, encouraging students to participate actively in sports for their holistic growth and development.

As the countdown to the KSSSA National Term One games commences, coach Ochieng sets his sights on lofty targets for Agoro Sare.

"Our goal is clear—to emerge victorious and bring glory to Agoro Sare High School. We are not just competing; we are aiming for nothing less than the championship title," said Ochieng with unwavering conviction.

Agoro Sare captain Ghaal Akech in action against Maseno School.[Washington Onyango,Standard]

Agoro Sare High School's journey from adversity to triumph is a testament to the power of perseverance, teamwork, and unwavering belief.

As they prepare to embark on their quest for glory at the national stage, Agoro Sare embodies the spirit of resilience and determination, poised to make their mark in Kenyan basketball history.

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