Basketball star’s tale of success on court
For Brayan Oyoo, the sound of a basketball bouncing is a signal for him to change his outfit and bring out his competitive side on the court. Oyoo is one of the colossal young people from Mombasa who have opted to plump for 3-on-3 basketball which is rapidly expanding in the country.
Whereas many basketball players taking part in 3 on 3 competitions make a transition from league basketball, Oyoo’s transition was a teetering one as he previously played football and was only a distant lover of the game.
“Besides the football pitch that I used to play football was a basketball court. I guess it’s how I admired the game, and the push from a family member is what made me play basketball. I never imagined I would reach this level in basketball - let alone play the game,” Oyoo avers.
Despite cherishing and relishing football, the dextrous basketball player hardly earned a spot in the main football team as he was prone to injuries.
He opines: “When I used to play football, I was prone to a lot of injuries in the field; I was always a substitute because of injuries and I was in and out of the hospital most of the time. After joining basketball, however, things changed for the better as I can now play the game without having to worry about watching on the sidelines most of the time for injuries.
The most important thing is that it (basketball) has created doors for me to travel out of the country and, still, job opportunities came through, although for short terms.”
Since making the switch to basketball, he has had the opportunity to participate in most of the basketball tournaments in the country with the most recent one being the Mombasa edition of the Red Bull Half Court – with the world finals scheduled to take place in Belgrade, Serbia later on this year.
Just like other sports in the country with snowballing progress despite facing financial hurdles, basketball in Kenya is slowly taking shape as a sport that has the potential to establish itself as a powerhouse on the global stage – a space that has for the longest time been inhabited by athletics.
The year 2022 was a good year for the Basketball space in the country. In July the country hosted the U23 Nations League tournament at the Nyayo National Stadium where teams from Uganda, Benin, Rwanda, and Botswana participated.
Winners of the tournament got an opportunity to represent the country in Hungary where Kenya was represented by Madina Okot, Alex Juma, Jacqueline Kogo, and Yvonne Akinyi.
Just after the U23 Nations League, Kenya sent a team to represent the country in the Birmingham games. With another contingent representing the country in the World Championship that was held in Cairo Egypt between the 1st and 2nd of December. Even with these developments taking place, upcoming basketball players like Oyoo believe there is still more to be done.