11 September 2013
KENYA : Rose Ouma links up with national team
Women's Coach Ronnie Owino.(Photo:SNA File)
Experienced point guard Rose Ouma, who plays for Dubai club Al Nasr, has joined the national women basketball team that is preparing for the AfroBasket Women Championship slated for September 20-29 in Maputo, Mozambique.
Ouma, who previously turned out for local champions Eagle Wings and US collegiate teams, was among the three foreign based players called to beef up the squad for the upcoming continental assignment.
Head coach Ronnie Owino had hoped to have US-based duo of Brenda Wasuda and Miriam Wandanda but were unavailable.
Having played for Kenya at the All Africa Games in 2003, 2007 and 2011, Ouma will be one of the key players for the team and is ready for the challenge. “Its always good to play for the national team. With my experience, i believe i have something positive to offer to this team,” she told sportsnewsarena.com.
She had the first session with the team on Monday at the Nyayo National Stadium where only seven out of the eighteen players called up trained.
USIU duo of Zipporah Odhiambo and Hilda Indasi, Strathmore's Grace Wanjiku, Co-op Bank’s Linda Alando, Eagle Wings’ Vilma Achieng and Storms Susan Akinyi all trained on Monday.
“Even though I have seen very few players, i believe the team is strong enough but there are few things that must be worked on before we leave. I have no doubt that these are quality players.”
The team was, however, full house on Tuesday following the arrival of Kenya Ports Authority, KPA, Eagle Wings and KU Oryx players who were in Mombasa for the weekend league matches.
Ouma stressed more on the need for teamwork if the team has any realistic chances of performing well in Maputo.
“In basketball, we work like player-coaches. Any player can note mistakes and correct others which brings out the aspect of teamwork. With that, we will definitely do better.” Uganda Christian University’s Purity Auma is the other foreign based player making the team.Kenya pooling
Kenya is in Group B of the championships alongside Angola, Mali, Cameroon, Cape Verde and Nigeria. Owino, who led the team to winning Zone V title in Tanzania early this year, is planning to have two friendly matches against Nairobi Aviation College and Upperhill School this week as part of the team’s preparations.
Most of the teams have already began training and are leaving nothing to chance. Cape Verde has called up five professional players in its squad drawn from France, Portugal, Angola and USA while Nigeria's squad is largely drawn from experienced players.
Rashidat Sadique and Kikelomo Rafiu were part of the team that finished eleventh at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games led by current head coach Scott Nnaji while the rest are drawn from the team that reached the 2011 Afrobasket final.
The 12 teams championship doubles up as the main qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Championships for Women that will be held in Turkey.
Players In Training: Annerose Atieno, Angela Okoth, Vilma Akinyi, Silalei Shani, Samba Mjomba (Eagle Wings), Brenda Angeshi, Deborah Obunga (KPA), Denise Apondi, Grace Wanjiku (Strathmore University), Susan Akinyi (Storms), Purity Auma (UCU, Uganda), Linda Alando, Eleanor Musundi, (Co-op Bank), Zipporah Odhiambo, Emma Nyakweba, Hilda Indasi (USIU), Betty Kananu (KU Oryx), Rose Ouma (Dubai).