ON A MISSION?

Mayienga sets targets for Lionnesses

"It's a challenging job but I am equal to the task. I know all my assistants well. I am sure we will conquer the task ahead," he said.

In Summary

• Kenya were the second-best team in Africa in 1992, losing to Senegal in the FIBA AfroBasket finals in Dakar. The feat earned them a ticket to the World Championships in Australia in 1994.

• In their last appearance in 2019, Kenya lost 55-39 to Mozambique, 64-51 to Angola and 64-57 to Cape Verde and missed out on the quarter-finals slots. 

Mercy Wanyama (L) of Equity Bank under pressure from Yvonne Akinyi of KPA in past event
basketball Mercy Wanyama (L) of Equity Bank under pressure from Yvonne Akinyi of KPA in past event
Image: file

Newly-appointed women's national team head coach George Mayienga said his mission is to improve Kenya's rankings in Africa.

Speaking from his base in Kampala, the tactician said he is ready for the task ahead and with the full support of the federation and players, he is ready to guide the team back to where it once was.

"It's a challenging job but I am equal to the task. I know all my assistants well. I am sure we will conquer the task ahead," he said.

Kenya were the second-best team in Africa in 1992, losing to Senegal in the FIBA AfroBasket finals in Dakar. The feat earned them a ticket to the World Championships in Australia in 1994. But their performances have dwindled over the years with the team finishing last in two continental tournaments — 2007 and 2019 — both in Dakar, Senegal. 

"I am well aware that we were second best in Africa at some point and also managed to go to the World Cup. I want to succeed with the team," the tactician highlighted.

Mayienga, currently handling JKL Dolphins in the Ugandan league, said his first task when the players assemble will be to work on the team chemistry and coordination.

"I vividly remember the team's exploits in the past. I am advantaged by knowing many of the players in the team including those based abroad. Once we assemble, we will know how to go about it," Mayienga pointed out.

"We will work hard enough to make Kenya a continental force once again. All I need is everyone's support."

Mayienga said his assistants Mike Opel (KPA),  Eunice Ouma (Eagle Wings) and Tony Ochieng (Strathmore University) are well versed with the local players and this was important.

The tactician's immediate task is to prepare the Lionesses for the FIBA Africa Zone Five qualifiers slated for June in  Cairo, Egypt before getting a shot at the FIBA AfroBasket women championship.

In their last appearance in 2019, Kenya lost 55-39 to Mozambique, 64-51 to Angola and 64-57 to Cape Verde and missed out on the quarter-finals slots. 

Only three players Mercy Wanyama (Spain), Velma Akinyi (KPA), Georgia Adhiambo (Rwanda) have been retained from that team. 

The team has seven diaspora-based players including Felmas Koranga, Victoria Wanjara, Clara Rotich, Brenda Adhiambo (USA), Mercy Wanyama (Spain), Rose Ouma (UAE) and Purity Auma (Bangladesh).

The team starts training on May 1 at Nyayo Stadium.