Kenya Basketball Federation chairman Paul Otula has handed the Coast basketball fraternity a perfect new year gift by giving the region the nod to host its first ever Fiba Zone Five Club Championships.
The International Basketball Federation annual championships, which attracts top teams from Egypt, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Somalia and South Sudan, was last held in Kenya in 2005. It was staged at the Nyayo Stadium gymnasium in Nairobi.
This comes hot on the heels of Mombasa County hosting the GOtv Senior Challenge Cup quarter-finals and a semi-final at the Mombasa Municipal Stadium.
The Fiba event will be held in August. Kenya are the hosts this year and it was widely expected that the event would be staged in Nairobi according to tradition.
SPIRIT OF DEVOLUTION
Otula said it was in the spirit of devolution to give opportunity to other counties to host high profile sports events and improve on their sports facilities even as they market themselves.
“I made a personal tour of Mombasa to inspect the newly refurbished KPA Makande gymnasium and I have no doubt in my mind that it can host any international event,” said Otula, who is also the principal of Maseno School.
The KBF boss is now appealing to all the 47 counties to take advantage of the devolution to improve infrastructure and host international events.
Otula, who also coaches the Maseno School basketball team, is also appealing to Coast basketball fans to turn up in large numbers and support the Kenya teams for top honours at the event.
Kenya’s Eagle Wings successfully retained the women’s title while Urunani of Burundi clinched the men’s title in last year’s championships held in Burundi.
Cooperative Bank of Kenya and Kenya Ports Authority will be Kenya’s men flag bearers at this year’s event while Kenya Ports Authority and United States International University will do battle in the women’s category.