Kenya starts paving way for NBA talent scouting

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Intellimedia Networks Africa chairman Alex Chesosi during Arena One 3x3 Basketball tournament at Galleria Mall, Nairobi. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Last month, Kenya signed a deal with the United States National Basketball Association (NBA) to promote the game in the country.

The high end partnership that was witnessed by President William Ruto, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams in New York will see the American basketball federation nurture and develop young talents in Kenya.

In addition, NBA will set up an office in Nairobi, develop basketball infrastructures, train coaches and promote various competitions within the country.

NBA is set to make inroads in Africa next month where their officials will pitch camp in Kenya to lay grounds for the above duties.

In order to pave the way for the NBA talent search, Intellimedia Networks Africa (INA) held a 3x3 basketball tournament at Arena One court, Galleria Mall, Nairobi.

The championship attracted ten teams among them Kivuli (from Rongai), Little Prince (South B), Kibera (Kibera slums), Karen Citam (Karen) and the Slums (Kibera).

The winner's went home Sh100,000 richer, second placed team was awarded Sh75,000 while third place finishers got Sh50,000.

Renowned basketball ace Ismail Almasi is in charge of talent identification in the tournament ahead of the NBA arrival. The Buffalo University valedictorian is being assisted in the scouting by Equity Bank Hawk's coach David Maina.

"I thank President Ruto for enabling the NBA to come to Kenya. This tournament series that we are organising is meant to prepare ground for the NBA arrival in November," INA Chairman Alex Chesosi told Standard Sports.

"It is just important that we start identifying these potential talents, both boys and girls, early.
"We are going to do a series of these tournaments, probably two or three, to give young people ground to showcase their skills as they get ready for the official NBA scouting," Chesosi added.

While urging young people to embrace sports, especially basketball, INA Chief Executive Officer Jane Nawezi stated: "Sports is beneficial in terms of fitness and other aspects of life.

"It boosts energy levels, brain coordination, team work and other ingredients needed to succeed in life.

"This tournament also acts as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility. Apart from basketball, we also support golf and weightlifting."

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