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NBA star: Government must support Kenyan basketball

12 August 2014, 14:36

Nairobi - Former NBA star Masai Ujiri has called on Kenya's government to support the growth of the game in the country.

Ujiri, who now holds the position of Toronto Raptors General Manager, also challenged authorities to fund youth programmes and structures that will help the game prosper in Kenya.

“Federations like Angola that were lagging behind several years back are currently far much ahead because their governments decided to step in and fund youth basketball and relevant sports programmes,” said Ujiri.

Ujiri said the basketball potential of countries like Kenya, Senegal and Cameroon is being undermined by a lack of government assistance.

Nairobi Basketball Association chairman Ronney Owino echoed Ujiri's words.

“Our players need allowances, proper kits and diets. Also better training facilities will enhance their perform in Kampala which is a qualifier for the All Africa Games next year,” Owino said, referring to the Africa Zone V championships to be held next month in Uganda.

Owino joined Ujiri and other NBA coaches, including Jama Mahlalela from Toronto Raptors, at a three-day international youth basketball camp at Brookhouse School in Nairobi involving 50 players from across the continent.

“Basketball grassroots development in Africa is critical. Africa has the potential for growth and being a force to reckon with in NBA,” said Mahlalela.

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