•Owino suggests that the players should total 18 at most and should train at least once a week in Nairobi.
• Nigeria, who won the show did not have a single locally-based player in their roster. All their players came from the diaspora. And this is the way to go — Owino
National women’s basketball team Ronny Owino believes only early preparations are the way to steer the team to continental stardom after lionesses struggled to make an impact at the FIBA AfroBasket championships in Dakar, Senegal last month.
Speaking upon the team’s return to the country, Owino said: “We must have a national team programme that runs throughout the year.”
“Kenya Basketball Federation should liaise with teams on how the training will be conducted. This will ensure continuity.”
He suggests that the players should total 18 at most and should train at least once a week in Nairobi.
“If we have a tournament, the usual story of not having enough time to train will never be there. The players will have adopted to the systems,” he noted.
He added that the federation should look into ways of getting players from the diaspora because their understating of the game is good.
“Nigeria, who won the show did not have a single locally-based player in their roster. All their players came from the diaspora. And this is the way to go,” Owino said.
Owino observed that Kenya have some of the best players in the diaspora and it is important to bring them home since no success will be realised with local players.
Tunisia and Egypt, said Owino, had the youngest teams in the championships with an average age of 23 years. These are teams for the future.
“We must have a deliberate policy to rebuild and move on from there,” he noted.
Kenya played three games in the Dakar festival against Mozambique, Cape Verde and Angola, losing all these fixtures.
But Owino said: “They were decent losses and I can assure you with a good rotation, the results would have read differently. The girls were tired.”
Kenya sent only 10 players instead of the stipulated 12 due to financial constraints.
The dismal displays saw Kenya miss out of the African Women Basketball pre-qualifiers for the 2020 Olympic Games.
AfroBasket winners Nigeria, Mozambique and DR Congo are in group ‘A’ with
Senegal, Mali and Angola competing group ‘B’.
The event, whose winner will qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, is set for November 14-17 at a yet to be determined venue.
The finalists will automatically advance to the 16-nation FIBA Women’s Olympic qualifying tournament in February 2020.