Kenya’s national men’s basketball team players leave Nairobi on Wednesday for Bamako where they have been placed in a tough Group ‘B’ of the African Championships which tip off on Friday.
On Tuesday, the “Morans” were flagged off by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies with the opposition leader promising to travel to the Mali capital to cheer the team should they reach the championship final.
Kenya will be making its second ever appearance at the continental tournament, the first and last time being in 1989 when the championship was staged in Nigeria.
Kenya qualified for the Bamako championship after a historic 97-79 win over Egypt at the qualifiers in Kampala a fortnight ago.
The “Morans” have been grouped alongside Nigeria and the Democratic Repiblic of Congo who have been preparing for this championship in France and Spain, respectively.
Odinga, who was accompanied by his daughter, Winnie, who represented Kenya in the Africa Zone Five Afrobasket Championships in Kampala in 2008, pledged government support for basketball which he said had gathered momentum locally.
Earlier, the team’s player Tyler Okari was named the StarTimes Sports Personality of the month for June.
Okari was instrumental as “Morans” made history by defeating Egypt in Kampala.
His exploits saw him voted the competition’s Most Valuable Player as Kenya also qualified for next month’s African Games set to be held in Morocco.
Speaking during the award presentation ceremony, StarTimes Regional Marketing Director Aldrine Nsubuga said “the StarTimes sports personality of the month award is now at the end of its second year, we remain extremely proud of the impact we have had in collaboration with the sports journalists association.”