NBA Nairobi office launch ushers in new era of basketball development in Kenya

© State House Kenya

BASKETBALL NBA Nairobi office launch ushers in new era of basketball development in Kenya

Festus Chuma 15:07 - 30.11.2023

Five-time NBA champion Ron Harper attends Jr. NBA clinic in Nairobi as part of NBA Kenya office launch

The United States National Basketball Association (NBA) officially launched its fifth African office in Nairobi on Wednesday.

According to a statement from the State House, the NBA has pledged to collaborate closely with the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Education, and the Kenya Basketball Federation to create a comprehensive basketball ecosystem.

To mark the inauguration of the NBA's Nairobi office, a Junior NBA clinic will engage 70 boys and girls, providing them with invaluable basketball coaching and mentorship.

Kenya now joins Egypt, Senegal, South Africa, and Nigeria as one of the select African nations hosting an NBA office.

During a meeting at State House Nairobi, President William Ruto expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative, describing it as a pivotal moment for the sport's development in Kenya.

"Professional basketball promises to enhance talent commercialization and transform the lives of our youth," President Ruto stated.

The launch ceremony was attended by prominent figures from both the NBA and Kenyan government officials. NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams, five-time NBA champion Ron Harper, former NBA player Micheal Finley, US Ambassador to Kenya Meg Whitman, and Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba were among the distinguished guests.

NBA Africa CEO Victor Williams expressed his excitement about the potential for basketball and the NBA in Kenya and East Africa.

"Basketball is one of the most popular team sports among Kenyan youth, and having a year-round presence on the ground will allow us to work more closely with local stakeholders to further grow the game here and make it more accessible to fans and players across the country," he noted.

Micheal Finley, who has been deeply involved in the Kenyan basketball community for many years, will lead the new office.

"I am excited to lead the new office and look forward to growing our footprint in the region and positively impacting communities across the nation by creating new opportunities for youth to play the game and fans to interact with the NBA," he stated.

Ron Harper, a five-time NBA champion, praised the NBA's efforts to grow basketball in Kenya and across the continent.

Micheal Finley, with his extensive experience in basketball development in East Africa, and Ron Harper, a seasoned NBA champion, bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the newly established Nairobi office. 

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