Fifty high school basketball players across Kenya are set to participate in the third annual Giants of Africa (GOA) camp at Brookhouse School.
The three-day camp, which kicked off on Saturday August 20th, is part of a marathon series of outreach activities that GOA has been carrying out across Africa as it seeks to impact the lives of young players both on and off the court.
“The players who have been selected for the camp have certain skill sets and physical attributes that can be harnessed to help them get to the elite level through top quality coaching,” said GOA coordinator Frederick Odhiambo.
Local coaches will also benefit from the camp which Odhiambo believes will be critical due to the fact that Kenya lacks a solid basketball development program.
“We want to empower coaches and bring them up to speed to compensate for the poor development structures that we have. In regard to player development, it’s important that we start training kids by the time they are six years old so that they can master the basics early,” he added.
The participating players are drawn from various schools including Laiser Hill, Utumishi Academy, St. Andrews Turi, Kisumu Boys and Aga Khan Academy Mombasa.
The foundation in partnership with the Nairobi County established and unveiled its second basketball court in the country, situated at the Joseph Kang’ethe Grounds in Kibera. The court opening saw youth basketball teams that had initially participated in the Nairobi County Governor’s basketball tournament early in year compete.
“The county government has gracefully allocated us land in Kibera where we built the court together with a 500 capacity sitting tribune,” said GOA Kenya representative Abel Nson.
Other African countries where the camps are being held are Rwanda, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and Botswana.
“The camps have inspired kids to work harder at their game so as to either participate in the camp or to do better in the next camp if they are a returning candidate,” said Nson.
“Off the court, they are taught life skill sessions such as how to conduct themselves in society, to be better citizens and to understand the importance of education so that they can get ahead in life,” he added.