Kigali — Kenya men's national basketball team head coach, Cliff Owuor has agreed to take up his former job at Rwanda Patriotic Army (APR) men's team, Nation Sport understands.
Owuor did not return to Kenya with the rest of the Morans team that left Kigali Sunday morning, preferring to remain behind to complete the paper work
He oversaw Morans as they kept alive their hopes of qualifying for the 2021 Fiba AfroBasket Championship after a 27-year wait after finishing third in their group in round one of the qualifiers. Beaten in their opening two Group B matches by Senegal and Angola, Kenya beat Mozambique 79-62 in their final pool match last Friday.
APR officials here in Kigali confided to this reporter that they have been in talks with Owuor for a possible return since August this year and concluded the deal a fortnight ago.
"You know that Owuor is a very good coach who helped to not only develop basketball structures here, but also ensured APR ,a military side, played basketball at a very higher level in the region. It is for this reason that the government thought it wise to let him return and continue with his job from where he left," Charles Sondas, APR women's basketball coach said.
Sondas, who also works with the military, said APR men's basketball team's standards had gone down despite having some of the best players in the country, and that is the main reason they resorted to recalling Owuor, whom they parted ways with two years ago, after close to 15 years of service.
"It is true we have been in talks with my former employers and have agreed to the better part of the deal. I want to stay behind to work on the remaining few grey arrears before I can officially take up the job," Owuor said during an interview here in Kigali.
Kenya's head of delegation for the Afrobasket qualifier, Peter Orero, received the news with shock and demanded an assurance from the Kenya Basketball Federation that Owuor will be retained as Morans coach.
"The foreign based players are particularly not happy that Owuor is returning to coach in Rwanda. I have however assured them that the contract he is going to sign will have a release clause to return to coach our national team whenever we will be having an assignment," Orero, who is also the Kenya Basketball Federation treasurer and Principal Dagoretti High School, said.
Arguably Kenya's best tactician, Owuor secured a job with USIU as head basketball coach last year, but was one of the coaches that had their contracts terminated by university when the coronavirus pandemic struck
They were expected to apply for their jobs afresh for consideration when learning and sports resume in institutions.