By Erick Ochieng'
Blacktown and Stingers are this year’s Nyanza Province Sprite Slam Basketball champions.
Blacktown beat Kenya Re 52-35 at the weekend to win the boys’ category in the event held at the Kenyatta Sports Ground.
Fans were treated to a tough contest that saw both teams fight hard to outdo each other. Blacktown dominated their pool, where they won all the matches. Stingers beat Blades by two baskets to win 19-15 in the girls’ final contest.
At the same time Romanov O’Connor of Blacktown, and Joyce Misita of Stingers, emerged the Most Valuable Players in both categories.
Five top players selected to represent Nyanza Province at the national championships in Nairobi are O’Connor, Samuel Gikara (Blacktown), George Okoth (Maseno A) Samuel Opel (Maseno A) and Jeremy Opiyo (Maseno A). Moses Wanjala was named the Slam Dunk King Sprite Slam in the province. The Most Talented Players in the girls’ category were Misita and Rachel Odhiambo, who plays for Kisumu Lakeside.
Stingers and Blacktown took home Sh20,000 each, while runners-up in each category took home Sh10,000. This is the second year that Sprite Slam Basketball Championship has been held in Kenya, with Nyanza being the first to hold its competition. Coast, Nairobi, Rift Valley and Central are yet to hold theirs. Winners of the national championships will tour the US next month and attend an NBA training camp.
Sprite Slam Tour is organised by Coca-Cola East and Central Africa, and targets the development of basketball skills among youth, while promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The best three players from Kenya will form part of the All African Star Team, to tour the US, the home of NBA. Talent scouts from the Kenya Basketball Federation will do the selection.