Lilongwe — Kenya Lionesses shooting guard Seline Okumu will miss the women's Afrobasket qualifiers to be held in Kigali from July 12 due to academic committments.
At the same time, Dubai-based inspirational point guard Rose Ouma arrived in Kenya ahead of championships, which were initially scheduled to take place in Cairo from July 5-10, but had to be moved to Rwanda after Egypt pulled out citing increased cases of Covid 19 infections.
Speaking to Nation Sport in Lilongwe where the KPA men and women's basketball teams have been taking part in the annual Malawi international basketball tournament, Okumu, whose twin sister Celia and younger sister Liz Okumu are also in the national team squad, said she had scheduled her Chartered Institute of Procurement and Suplies (CIPS) Diploma examinations for July 12 to 16 based on the initial dates of the competiton.
"I booked my examinations based on the initial dates and was still okay with the dates Kenya had set had Fiba allowed KBF to be alternative hosts," Okumu, who has just completed her Masters degree at the University of Nairobi, said.
"It is unfortunate I am not going to be in the team for the second time in a row after I missed the 2019 Afrobasket finals in Dakar, Senegal due to pressure at my work place. I feel very sad that this time round again the dates will coincide with my international examinations which I cannot change," Okumu, arguably Kenya's best defensive player said.
She is however confident that Kenya will qualify for the Afrobasket finals set for Cameroon in September, where she hopes to be fully involved.
Kenya Basketball Federation treasurer Peter Orero, who is in charge of the Lionesses team, said it is sad that Kenya will have to go without Okumu, but is confident the technical bench led by George Mayienga will find an alternative.
"We could have really wanted her to be there, but again professional committments are very progressive and personal so we must have to understand," Orero said.
Orero further confrimed that foreign based players Brenda Wasuda (US) and Georgia Adhiambo (Rwanda) are expected by the end of the week.
He added that US-based Victoria Eynolds Atieno has finalised her paper work after getting her Kenyan identity card and passport well within the Fiba registration deadline.