Reigning International Basketball Federation (Fiba) Africa Zone Five AfroBasket women champions Kenya require Sh14 million to defend their crown during this year’s qualifiers slated for February 14-19 at MTN Arena Lugogo in Kampala.
The Lionesses, who will be gunning to book a ticket to the AfroBasket Championship in Rwanda later this year, have not started residential training.
Residential training was supposed to start on February 1.
Nonetheless, coach George Mayienga’s charges have intensified non-residential training at Nyayo Indoor Gymnasium in Nairobi, holding sessions in the morning and evening.
The regional biennial competition has attracted Kenya, South Sudan, Egypt, Rwanda and Uganda, the same line up as the 2021 tournament held in Kigali where Lionesses mauled Egypt 99-83 in the final.
Kenya’s foreign-based players were scheduled to start arriving in the country last weekend, but none has reported yet.
“We have a budget of Sh14 million. We await the Sports Fund’s approval for us to move to a residential camp and purchase air tickets. We had hoped to have the players here by now and also to be in camp,” said the Kenya Basketball Federation assistant secretary general Angela Luchivya on Tuesday.
Currently, Mayienga and assistant coaches Antony Ojukwu and Eunice Ouma have 16 players, including star point guard Natalie Akinyi from Kenya Ports Authority.
There has been an addition of two shooting guards namely Rose Ouma from Dubai’s Al Nasr Cultural and Sport Club, Uni and Uganda-based Rachel Odhiambo.
Other foreign-based players available to represent Kenya in the AfroBasket qualifying competition are small forward Victoria Reynolds from Imortal Tcars in Portugal and center Mercy Wanyama, who plies her trade at AD Cortegada, Spain.
Notable absentee is US-based center Felmas Koranga, who was in the initial provisional squad of 28 players named on January 12.
“Felmas has a busy school schedule and back-to-back university games,” said Luchivya.