NAIROBI, Kenya, September 1 – Five basketball star players who were selected during the recently concluded Sprite Slam Basketball Challenge, left for South Africa on Tuesday for the Basketball Without Borders (BWB) Camp.
The five players, Bruce Ndikumana, Tyler Okari, Joseph Ouma, James Mathiang and Samuel Odera were selected during the National Finals that had a pool of 35 players drawn from across the country.
During the camp in Johannesburg, the five will join 100 other selected players from several other African countries including; Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Egypt, Cote d Ívore, Mali, Cameroon and Angola. The South African Camp will run from 1st – 7th September and will be conducted by a number of current NBA players – including Juwan Howard – as well as Coaches and Managers.
Speaking during the departure of the players at the airport, Coca-Cola Senior Franchise Brand Manager for Kenya Pamela Mutua, encouraged the players to play their best.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity where the players will undergo training under the watchful eye of seasoned NBA players. If they put in their best, the Kenya team will also have a chance to win scholarships to join universities in the US, under the BWB program,” said Mutua.
During the camp, the players will undergo intensive rigorous training, perform skills drills and play a number of games against each other. The program’s format involves a draft at the beginning of the camp where 100 players are divided into 10 teams.
Basketball clinics are run daily in the morning to teach the fundaments (passing, shooting, dribbling, one-one moves, offense, defense etc) and thereafter, each pre-determined team has designated times to practice their camps offense and defense.
Games are scheduled for the afternoons and evenings and individual and/or team shooting games are incorporated into the daily schedule where players win prizes from International Basketball Federation (FIBA)/NBA.
Daily motivational life-skills seminars are conducted for the campers on various topics such as leadership, character development, teamwork and HIV/AIDS awareness and education.
The Sprite Slam Basketball tournament – sponsored by Coca-Cola East & Central Africa through its brand Sprite – seeks to nurture talent and promote active and healthy lifestyles.
The Company has invested a total of US $ 500,000 (Ksh. 40 million) in this year’s tournament which will also see the refurbishment of 50 basketball courts across the country