• Kenya women's 3–on–3 basketball finished fourth after falling to Democratic Republic of Congo in the bronze medal match, while the men were eliminated in the preliminary stages.
• Our players are the future of this game because they are young and focused.— Tonny Ochieng.
Kenya 3-on-3 national Under 23 basketball coach Tonny Ochieng believes the game is the next big thing if their performance in the ongoing All African Games in Rabat, Morocco is anything to go by.
He said despite 3-on-3 being a new game in the country, the national women’s side has proved that they can go places with a little more support.
The girls finished fourth after falling to Democratic Republic of Congo in the bronze medal match, while the men were eliminated in the preliminary stages.
“Were it not for the fact that we had one player less, we would be talking about a medal at the moment,” noted the coach.
Ochieng said they traveled with one player less and this took a toll on the team in terms of performance. He said they had three players instead of four due to logistical issues.
“This is a game where you have to play at least two matches in a day and that took a toll on the players. All the same, I want to laud the girls especially for the good show,” he added.
However, the biggest consolation was Caroline Njeri’s victory in the women’s shooting competition. Samuel Kisilu was third in the men’s event. Njeri teamed up with captain Daisy Ayodi in the women’s category, while Kisilu had the company of Fidel Okoth and Martin Buluma.
“Our players are the future of this game because they are young and focused,”
He said there is need right now for exposure and also a local league will go a long way in fast-tracking the growth of the game.
“These players have left no doubt that they can match the superpowers of the game like Nigeria and Mali and all they need is support,” he added.
He said the good thing about the game is that it can be played anywhere including the parking lot. He said the next thing on their schedule will be the African Championships qualifiers set for September 8-10 in Kampala, Uganda.
In the Championships, he said, Kenya will be represented by four teams both U18 and U23 (men and women). Ochieng said in the long run, they want to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris and the focus now will be on the U18.
He said their experience in the AAG will help them a lot going forward. “It is through such competitions that we can grow a country and we will need more of this.” noted Ochieng.
He said they will need a lot of friendly matches from nations that have progressed. The tactician also asked the National Olympic Committee of Kenya to involve Njeri in their athletes' developmental projects.