USIU Flames and Twende crowned Half Court champions set for USA

The United States International University (USIU) Flames and Team Twende were crowned the champions of Half Court World Basketball titles held over the weekend in Nairobi.

The vctory during the finals earned them a ticket for this year’s finals that will be held in New York.

The competition was aimed at identifying and improving the next talent of basketball in Kenya, bringing together qualified teams from Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret who were fighting for a slot to represent the country in the World finals that will be held in New York, US. This will be the third time Kenya will be represented in the world finals this is after making a debut in 2022 and a second consecutive appearance in 2023.

In the lady’s category, USIU Flames proved to be too strong for Team Amazon, winning in 13-9 in the semi-finals to book a slot in the finals with Team Hookies  in 14-9 win.

In the men’s finals matches Team Twende had to dig deep in their experience to beat team Hookies 23-10 in a nail-biting fixture.

Fridah Yakobo, the USIU flames team captain commended teams in the competition for showing incredible will to win in the competition.

“The level of competition was very high which underscores the impact of the Red Bull Half Court tournament. Playing in this competition has given me more exposure by putting me against the best players in Kenya. I can wait to play against some of the best players in the world at the world Finals.

On his part Mr. Hilmi Ali, the Vice President Kenya Basketball Federation lauded the tournament for the impact it had in identifying the next generation of basketball in the country.

“We have seen new faces in the competition but we are impressed by the show of talent in display especially with teams from Eldoret and other towns. We are beginning to see the impact of the Half Court tournament especially in the ladies participating in the competition. I believe this is just the beginning of the journey on improving the quality of Basketball in Kenya.”

Reflecting on how tough the competition has become in the tournament since its inception George Daryl captain of TeamTwende commended their opponents forfair play and good competition spirit.

“We were really against some of the most experienced teams and players in the competition which means the quality of the game was very high. Despite all that we had to stick to our game plan to win the final tough game. I am grateful to Red Bull for organizing this competition it is definitely a good avenue for Basketball growth.

This year’s edition of the competition saw a series of activities and changes to the tournament to make it engage and even better. This included the launch of a consumer activation to award the player with the highest score in the competition.

The winner of this campaign got an opportunity to be trained by WNBA and NBA shooting legend Lethal Shooter who was in the country to conduct a basketball clinic with the players. This year also saw the introduction of the 3-pointrule to improve competitiveness and give players an opportunity to show their one-on-one shooting skills.

Focus now shifts to the World Finals which will be held in New York US in October

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