KENYA : Troubled Eastern Queens may quit league

y erick ochieng’

Women’s basketball Premier League outfit Eastern Queens may not participate in the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) National Classic League this season due to lack of funding.

Former Eastern Queens players insisted the team has been disbanded even as some joined outfits like Sprite Storms and Yana, while others have hung their boots due to lack of motivation.

Former Eastern Queens player, Carol Ouma, is one such player who has been forced to quit playing after being part of the team that had a good run in the league last season.

Ouma has opted to be a basketball whistler, hoping that refereeing would add value in her life as far as basketball is concerned.
"Eastern Queens no longer exists. They failed to play Sprite Storms in the opening match. I have decided to leave basketball because there is no motivation at all," she said.

When contacted, Eastern Queens’ management admitted they couldn’t honour matches because of lack of funds.

KBF Eastern Province Secretary Ambrose Kisoi and Chairman Mbithiwe Muriuki, who are in charge of the game in the region where the team has been based, clarified the team is in a financial turmoil that has brought all their operations to a halt.

"One sponsor is due to communicate by Wednesday, failure to which we would not honour this weekend’s match against Kenya Ports Authority in Mombasa," said Kisoi.

He admitted the team does not have players and they are in the process of recruiting school leavers in Eastern Province to constitute a team. KBF First Vice-Chairman Henry Shihemi confirmed the team is in the league but it would be difficult for them to honour their matches without sponsorship.

On Saturday, Eastern Queens failed to honour their match against Sprite Storms.

Ironically, Sprite Storms players had left en mass for Eastern Queens last year. This time round, some of the players opted to return to Storms, while others have reinforced Yana.

Meanwhile, Africa Nazarene University (ANU) again skipped their matches at the weekend. KBF awarded Kenya Polytechnic 20-0 walkover after ANU failed to show up for the men’s Division One match.

Mennonites edged out Predators 48-44 in the women’s Premier League on Sunday. Lynet Atieno and Esther Salano scored 16 points each to enable Mennonites win 13-9,10-6,15-13,11-16. Penina Wekesa and Winnie Kanani scored 15 and 14 points for newly-promoted Predators.