15 August 2006

KENYA : Mombasa High Star Gets Scholarship to US University

Mombasa High School star basketball player Beatrice Awino Oyenje has landed a five year full basketball scholarship from the Union University of Tennessee in the United States.

Awino, a form three student will first go through a high school programme at the university for a year before joining the main campus, according to the University's head basketball coach Mark Campbell.

Awino's immediate task is to try to help Mombasa High, the defending champions, try to retain the East Africa Secondary School basketball trophy in Dar es Salaam from August 26 through to September 2.

While wishing Awino well while in the United States, Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association secretary General David Ngugi also supported the idea of her delaying her trip to the US by a week to help Mombasa High School and Kenya retain the girls basketball trophy which they won last year when the games were held in Mbarara, Uganda.

"We as KSSSA are happy that Awino is going to continue her studies in the US, and that basketball has given her the scholarship for further underlines the importance of our school games," Ngugi, who was flanked by KSSSA national chairman Barnabas Kitilit, said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by the deputy director of quality assurance and standards Dinda Jakanyakwaka who said Awino's scholarship which has come while she is still in school would work as a motivation to other students to play and study hard while in school with a hope for better things in future.

Apart from playing for the school, Awino also played for the Sprite Storms' women's team in the National Basketball league.

Awino becomes the fifth Mombasa High School student to join a US colleges on a basketball scholarships. Others are Jackline Wasuda, Miriam Wandanda, Josephine Achieng, Owino and Matilda Mayaka.

Also joining Union University on a full basketball scholarship is former Mombasa Baptist High School forward Kennedy Okello who will be leaving the country on August 24.Two Kenyans are among Africans from 28 countries chosen to take part in a US National Basketball Association (NBA) camp next month.Dikembe Mutombo, a Congo-Kinshasa native who plays for the NBA's Houston Rockets, will announce the selections at a press briefing scheduled for tomorrow in New York.

Moses Mugeni and Lionel Adkiny were picked to represent Kenya in the Basketball Without Borders camp in South Africa "based on their basketball skills, leadership abilities and dedication to the sport," the NBA said.

In addition to receiving instruction from several NBA players, the Africans picked for the September 6-10 camp in Johannesburg will attend educational seminars on topics such as Aids prevention.

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