NAIROBI, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Kenya has earned its place in the Basketball Africa League, which is to be launched in January.
澳门星际平台|澳门星际娱乐网址|澳门xj官方网站|信赖品牌This follows their impressive performance at the FIBA AfroCan basketball championship in Bamako, Mali, where they finished second losing to Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
FIBA Africa president Anibal Manave has assured Kenya it will be given a chance to step up and play in the new professional league, which will have 12 teams and is an initiative of National Basketball Association (NBA) and FIBA Africa.
National team coach Cliff Owuor confirmed on Monday he has been given assurance by Manave that Kenya will feature together with teams from Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia.
"I was called by FIBA Africa president Anibal Manave, who assured me that he was happy with Kenya's performance in Mali. We showed we deserved inclusion in the new league," Owuor said on Monday.
Before the Mali tournament, Owuor said, Kenya's performance in the continent was not impressive at all but things have now changed.
澳门星际平台|澳门星际娱乐网址|澳门xj官方网站|信赖品牌"The NBA wanted Kenya to be part of the newly-introduced league but FIBA Africa was concerned with our rankings," said Owuor.
"But our performance has helped us sway his judgment because we have surprised top teams and FIBA officials are impressed. They have no choice now but to offer Kenya the slot," added Owuor.
Kenya only lost to DRC out of the six matches it played. They beat Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria and Morocco to earn their place on Africa top basketball table.
Having a top-flight professional league in Africa will provide a platform for elite players to showcase their talents and inspire younger players.