26 September 2010

KENYA : Trio picked for dream NBA camp

Joseph Ouma from Mombasa, Geoffrey Oteky and Ben Mungai, both from Nairobi, were at the weekend selected by top NBA star Steven Smith to represent Kenya in an NBA (National Basketball Association) camp in USA later in the year.

The three will be part of the All African team that will receive training from NBA coaching staff.

Nairobi dominated the Sprite Slam Tour Finals held at the Nairobi Railways Club on Saturday as Oteky scored 14 points, including two three-pointers, in his team’s first two games.

Kisumu sparked an offensive burst in the opening period against Nairobi with a three-point bomb, as Nairobi recovered and took over the scoreboard.

The Sprite Slam Tour is a Coca-Cola East and Central Africa initiative that targets teens and young adults, who have a passion for basketball, and it also allows them to express their individuality.

The other objective of the tour is to promote active healthy lifestyles among the youth by raising awareness on the importance of physical activity through the sponsorship of this grassroots basketball programme.

Smith plied his trade in the NBA for 14 years with teams such as Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, New Orleans Hornets and the Charlotte Bobcats.
The former player, who now works with the NBA TV as an analyst, said the three players picked to travel to the US will have basketball camps where scouts will be present.

“There will be scrimmage for them where hopefully some colleges will spot them and give them a scholarship which will mean a lot for the kids,” said Smith.

Dynamic partnership

Kenya was the first place he saw girls in the tournament something he said was impressive.

The Coca-Cola Company (through Sprite) and the NBA enjoy a dynamic partnership which was forged in 1986. Sprite is the official soft drink of the NBA.

Maureen Sika, Coca-Cola’s Brand Manager for Kenya, said the Sprite Slam initiative was aimed at giving the young people an opportunity to discover and nurture their talent.

“It’s success is the result of a dynamic partnership between Coca-Cola East and Central Africa, the Kenya Basketball Federation and the NBA. The NBA has provided us with their top stars to further enhance our talent selection process,” she said.

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