Strathmore University Basketball, Strathmores Men basketball team is a coat of many colors. The group is composed of three teams; Strathmore Blades- the pioneering team, Strathmore University Basketball team, and Strathmore Blades II the junior team. All three teams are set to ensure all interested students get placements in the various teams, a strategy that also caters for player turn off once students complete their studies.
Aside from its large numbers, the basketball team passes for its prowess in winning different tiers. Top of the cream Strathmore Blades; bagged the KUSA championship title, by beating Zetech University 56-42 in a one sided finals beamed live on ZUKU. They are also the current second runners up in the just concluded National Basketball league.
Brookside Dairy recently took to sponsor both the male and female basketball and hockey teams to a tune of Kshs. 35million for the next five years. With Scholarships available for potential basketball students to join Strathmore, the team is set to make great strides in the coming years from the recruitment.
We take a glimpse of the team through their Captain George Okoth- a 4th year Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial student.
History of the team
The team was established in 2004 by Isaac Mwangi. The men basketball team was the first to be established, but in 2006, Coach Tony started the Female basketball team. Due to the increase in the number of players it was only reasonable for the coach to start off a second male basketball team; Strathmore University Men Basketball team, which later on birthed Strathmore Blades II.
Managing the team
Being the top team, much is expected as we have to set the bar for the other two teams. So far, Strathmore Men Basketball team joined the Premier League. and Strathmore Blades II Joined division 1 of the Kenya Basketball Federation League last season. Having two teams playing in the premier league entails a lot of seriousness and benchmarking as the team is looking up to us as their seniors in the league.
I find coordinating my team an easy task since all the players at one point were captains of their secondary school teams. Since they all know what the position entails they are more supportive which consequently contributes to the successes of the team. As the coach of three teams and a Montour to us all, Coach Tony has a lot of roles, which calls for us as the premier team, to take responsibility in guiding our junior teams as much as we can. I have to make sure that I keep the team prompted on tournaments and practice sessions.
Winning the University league was a great achievement for us and a very good year starter for the team, which I believe was also replicated on our performance in the just concluded NPL games. The highlight was having our player Joseph Ongoro nominated as the Most Valuable Player in the University League. Last year we won the Kenya National Basketball Federation (KNBF) tournament in Nakuru. We were also the second runners up in the East African University (EAU) games in Uganda last year in December.
Coordinating the team to achieve its success has been a remarkable experience for me as a captain especially in emerging first runners up in the Premier League. This is the first time we have climbed to such heights, its exhilarating.
Strathmore Basketball team and Strathmore Blades train on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, while Blades II team train on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Monday and Wednesday are also set aside for senior players to teach the junior team moves and skills. Players are invited to help the coach as it also motivates the team to work hard. We all train as a group on Friday.
The greatest challenge we have as a team, is in striking the balance between studies and sports. This has also been the cause of our fluctuating scores in our growth curve; there are times when players show up for practice sessions and are very dedicated, and certain times, especially during exam periods, some players become less dedicated.
Joining the team.
Interested players can meet the coach any day of the week during training times and state their desire to join the team. The coach will assign specific days when the player can play and be assessed. There after based on their skills, he will assign them to a team.