•The glowing Morans brought honour and pride to the nation after romping to the FIBA Afro-Basket 2021 showpiece for the first time in 28 years.
•It will be Kenya's fourth appearance in the continent's most coveted tournament following a landmark fete that saw them surmount a roaring Angolan side by a solitary basket in a nerve-wracking duel settled under floodlight.
Hats off to the national men's basketball team for the awesome job they did in Yaoundé, Cameroon on Saturday night.
The glowing Morans brought honour and pride to the nation after romping into the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 showpiece for the first time in 28 years.
It will be Kenya's fourth appearance in the continent's most coveted tournament that will be hosted by Rwanda between August 24 and September 5, following a landmark fete that saw them surmount a roaring Angolan side by half basket in a nerve-wracking duel settled under floodlight.
The unfolding drama preceding the triumph informs the ecstasy surrounding the historic milestone.
Only five seconds remained on the clock and Morans were trailing 72-73 when captain Tylor Ongwae received a pass and pulled off a cheeky stunt on his stunned opponent to clear his path to the rim.
And just before anyone could blink an eye, the 29-year-old fired us to victory with a last gasp shot that turned the tables on the African heavyweights, gifting the Liz Mills-led side a sumptuous 74-73 win. Take note Kenya has never beaten Angola in any of their previous encounters.
And as we extol the team for an exemplary display of character, how could Tylor Ongwae escape unnoticed!
The awesome lad was the toast of the day, bagging 16 points for the team on a day the country yearned for every single available basket.
We all love the scent of success and it wasn't surprising, therefore, when Morans received their first congratulatory message from none other than President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Morans' glory attests to just how sufficient government goodwill can drastically transform the fortunes of our national teams.
Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) chairman, Paul Otula captures this essence in his crisp gratitude to government coming hot on the heels of Morans' success narrative.
“Kenya Morans have beaten Angola for the first time in the history of Basketball in Africa. Thanks a lot to the Government of Kenya for the support,” Otula said.
Undoubtedly, there exists a correlation between resources and success in sports, which is why athletics has become the most successful sports in Kenya's history.
Although football attracts the largest fan base in the country, the sport still wallows in utter misery in the continued absence of serious government investment.
Undoubtedly, good relationships between sports associations and governments are of paramount importance in the development of sports.
This is even more true in developing countries where government funding is the mainstay of sports. Ours is a peculiar situation taking into account in developed countries, sport is funded by companies which make them independent of government.
Governments the world over have social and economic responsibility to enhance lives through sports. And as they proceed to pump more resources into sports, the government shouldn't forget they also have an obligation to see if the funds they've invested are spent wisely.
Otherwise, all the noble effort will go down into the pit and it will be a while again before we experience another exhilarating feeling as we did on Saturday night.