Ulinzi star player targets new horizon after guiding KPA to national honours
After helping military side Ulinzi Warriors clinch the 2019 Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s league title, Victor Bosire is eyeing his fifth title in a row and success at the Basketball Africa League (BAL) when action returns.
Bosire joined Warriors at the beginning of the 2019 season from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) where he had won three consecutive titles with the club in four years of his stay at the Mombasa-based club.
The 31-year-old was part of a mass exit that saw eight key players leave KPA at the start of the 2019 season.
Despite the success at KPA, he says the desire to pay a stranger’s kindness forward pushed him to make the move to Warriors.
“When I joined KPA in 2015, we started pushing for player contracts and employment opportunities.
We, however, were told that we have no bargaining chip as we had lost in the final to Warriors that season.
We took it upon ourselves to win the following three seasons but the promises were never fulfilled.
I decided to move to a team where any success I achieve would lead to someone else benefiting with a job or promotion of some sort,” says Bosire.
His decision, he adds, stems from an act of kindness that saw him land his current job at East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL).
After going through the usual recruitment process at the company, when push came to shove, it was a former basketballer, whom he didn’t know, who vouched for him to get the chance.
“That act from a stranger whose only bond was basketball challenged me to make similar impact to someone.
While I had nothing to lose by not having a contract at KPA since I was already working, I knew I had to fight for my teammates who needed it.
When it was not forthcoming I felt that I was wasting my time. I had my best basketball with that team but I had to move to make an impact,” he says.
He adds that success at Warriors gives youngsters a chance to be recruited to the team and subsequently to the military as well as giving his teammates chances to earn promotion.
Bosire would be open to a return to his former club KPA if he was assured of fellow teammates getting employment opportunities.
For his exploits with the soldiers in the 2019 season, the Master’s degree holder in Strategic Management was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP), an accolade many felt he had been denied in his last two seasons with the Dockers. His teammate Eric Mutoro was named the top scorer.
However, the point guard says he is not keen on the personal accolades and is instead focused on winning a fifth league title in a row as well as leaving a mark in international basketball at BAL where he hopes Warriors will qualify for the final round.
“By moving to Warriors, I sacrificed the chance to play in the inaugural BAL with KPA.
Winning the league last season has now presented that chance again and, as a team, we are working to make it to the final round then work our way into the podium.
Winning at the international level has always been a dream for me and I will seize this opportunity,” he says.
Bosire says the delay in the season jump off occasioned by the Covid-19 outbreak has slowed him down as he has not played any competitive basketball since featuring for the national team, Morans, in the Afrobasket pre-qualifiers.
“I have tried to remain physically fit but I will take some time when things open up to work on ball works then work on match fitness.
The nature of my job does not allow me to train every day like most players so it should not take much time for me to achieve that competitive form,” he says.
Before, he had won the MVP award in several competitions including at the University Zuku League while at United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) and KECOSO games in 2015 with KPA. He was the KBF top scorer in the 2016 season.
This, however, was not his life until he was in his final year of high school. Granted he was an active student and played all sports during inter-house competitions at Kisumu Day, he was more inclined to football and foresaw a career in the big leagues some day.
A dependable defender for Kisumu Day for three years between 2003 and 2005, it was a tough shift to move to basketball and he says it was hard not to think he was throwing his sporting career away.
He won the best defender award in 2005 during copa coca-cola competitions and made it to the under 18 national team.
At the time, he was playing for a nationwide league team, Kisumu Hotstars.