By ERICK OCHIENG’
Teams and individuals will battle it out for honours tonight (Saturday) at the Nyayo National Stadium Gymnasium during the All Star Senior basketball competition.
The event will be held under floodlights and Competition Manager Sammy Kirya has confirmed measures have been put in place to ensure adequate security at the venue.
Police officers will be present to ensure security, while St John’s Ambulance has been contracted to take care of emergencies.
An exhibition match was held on November 6 to test the facility’s ability to host night matches. The match also acted as a curtain-raiser for today’s event. West will battle it out against East In the senior challenge category, where Sh100,000 will be on offer for the winning team.
All Star Senior challenge players, who were drawn from across the country, have been training in Nairobi ahead of the event.
West will rely on the Desmond Owili of Posta and Iraq-based Ancete Wafula for the much-needed points, given the huge experience the two players have.
Owili, a former player at Hope Centre, started playing competitive basketball three years ago and is set to proceed to the US on a basketball scholarship next year. The East team boasts of former US College North Star Conference Most Valuable Player Peter Kiganya, who is expected to partner with International Christian Centre (ICC) sensational forward Griffins Ligare.
But South Africa-based Rodney Genga has been ruled out of the competition with an injury.
Unlike the senior challenge category, where participation is free of charge, individual challenge entries will register with Sh500.
"Those participating in dunking, free throw, ball handling and three-point shoot-out have until today noon to register," said Fredrick Omondi, the event organiser and chairman.
The winners of the individual categories will pocket Sh10,000 each.
Young players, drawn mainly from secondary schools across Kenya, will battle it out in an exhibition match in the rookie category in a day veterans will also take to the court.
The veterans will play in an exhibition match pitting Mombasa against Nairobi. The event committee has unveiled the final team lists in various categories except that for the individual challenge.
The committee is comprised of Kirya (Terrorist) Omondi (Ministry of Information), Faustine Mgendi (ICC) and Emmanuel Ochieng (Terrorist). The event has been sponsored by members of the committee in conjunction with Q-busters and Surba Motors.