The 3×3 Basketball National Team held its Birmingham Commonwealth trials on 5th and 6th March 2022 at the University of Nairobi.
The 3X3 Basketball team will be making its debut at the Birmingham Games for the first time in the history of Kenyan Basketball. Kenya earned direct qualification for the Summer Games having a current rank of the second-best placed country after Egypt. Egypt is ranked top, but is not a member of the Commonwealth nation.
Hilmi Ali Juma, the Team Manager stated they held trials in Mombasa, Kajiado, Eldoret, Kakamega, Kisumu and three trials in Nairobi.
“We’re hoping to get a good team to the Commonwealth Games, we shall have the U23 and the Seniors just in case Birmingham decides we are going with either of them. We want to be ready; we might be the new kids on the block but we want to go and perform.”
Speaking on the road towards Paris 2024, the Team Manager who is also the Kenya Basketball Federation first Vice Chairman said the U23, will also have the circuit in May which they are currently bidding to host.This also begins the road to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“Majority of the players are U23. We’ve never been in the Olympics, only one country in East Africa has even been in the World Cup. In Tokyo, we had no African Country represented, but we are hopeful now stage by stage to develop players early enough.”
Melissa Akinyi the Kenya Lionesses’ Captain who has now joined the 3×3 Basketball team also explained the importance of the debut at the Commonwealth Games having served at the 5×5 team.
“We have big expectations, forming the team is like a dream come true having participated in lower events. Three years ago, we qualified to play at the FIBA level, moving forward, we have to prove this new game has a lot to show and hope we can come back with a medal.” Larry Shavanga, Senior 3×3 Basketball player said.
16 Senior men and 17 senior ladies were selected.
William Spencer, Davies Siaji, Philip Tobias, Brian Letina, Jordan Otieno, Larry Aligula, Domnic Adero, Faheem Nganga, George Darril, Martin Buluma, Timothy Ayieko, Brian Gichana, Fredrick Odhiambo, Niva Morgan, David John, Gabriel Onyango.
Mercy Mumo, Debra Obungo, Melissa Akinyi, Stella Wekesa, Jemima Omondi, Hilda Ndegwa, Christine Omondi, Joy Mupalia, Leah Wambasi, Winnie Chebet, Nicole Otieno, Lavenda Opondo, Hilda Indasi, Natalia Akinyi, Medina Okot, Victoria Reymonds, Babra Diana
In the U23 six ladies and 8 men have also been selected.
The Team will also be heading out to Africa World Cup Qualifiers in December in Morocco. The Winners of the African Qualifiers will head to 3×3 Basketball World Cup in 2023 in Antwerp, Belgium