The Star (Nairobi)

30 January 2013

Kenya to Recall Five Players From Diaspora Ahead of Women's Africa Cup

KENYA will have to beef up the national team with players from the diaspora if they are to make an impact in the women's FIBA Africa Nations Cup in September in Mozambique.

Head coach Ronnie Owino said for the country to make it to a podium, there is need to give a chance to the country's best players who are based outside. At the same time, he recommended that the team undergoes once a weekly training for a start.

"We must bring back our top players from outside the country if we are to succeed against some of the best teams in Africa. This competition is tough and we can only measure upto to the rest if we also have our best team out there. Without them, we have no chance," he said.

He cited five players - Josephine Owino, Beatrice Awino, Mildred Olumasi and Anastacia Njeri - (all based in the USA) and Dubai based Rose Ouma - saying they are key if the Kenya team is to perform well on continental stage. Owino and Ouma played a key role in the All Africa Games in Algeria in 2007 where Kenya finished fifth.

Owino heaped praise the girls, who clinched the Zone Five ticket during the just concluded qualifiers in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, saying determination and team work was the key to the success.

"The players gave their all to qualify. There was determination and good team work between them and the coaching staff."

Kenya posted a 74-32 win over Tanzania, beat Burundi 86-44, won 72-49 against Rwanda nipped Egypt 70-64 and wound up 77-57 winners against Uganda in their best showing in the championships.

Kenya's exploits in Dar show has endeared the team to many Kenyans who are based outside the country. Former Posta and national team coach Aggrey "Kaliech" Ofula now based in South Africa has even invited the girls for a training stint en-route Maputo. Ofula who played pro ball for Egoli Magic and Soweto Panthers between 1995-1999 is now a top coach and an instructor in South Africa.

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