Good incentive for inaugural Africa City Challenge tournament at Nyayo

By francis marangu
Jun 11, 2017
  • Alex Ramzan is one of the players representing Nairobi Morans. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Prize money totaling to Sh. 1.5 million will be the top incentive as the inaugural Africa City Challenge basketball tournament tips off on Sunday afternoon at the Nyayo National Stadium gymnasium.

Six teams from different regional cities namely Kenya’s Nairobi and Mombasa, Somalia’s Mogadishu, Uganda’s Kampala, Sudan’s Juba and Tanzania’s Dar es Salaam will be represented at the five-day tourney.

Winner of the round-robin format of play will pocket Sh.620,000, first runner-up will take home Sh.300,000 with the second runner-up winning Sh.150 000.

Out of the bracket medal, the fourth-placed team will be rewarded with Sh. 100, 000, the fifth-placed team will take home Sh.90,000 with the bottom side taking Sh.70,000.

“This is all about the players. We have cut down the number of players per team to 10 so that they can have the best experience,” Michael Finley, the tournament’s director said. “Eighty percent of the prize money will go directly to the players with 20 percent going to the federations for developing the game more.”

Nairobi Morans will represent the host city and has named a good team to be coached by Ben Oluoch. It is led by star guard Griffin Ligare of Nairobi City Thunder.

Others in the team are Kenya Ports Authority’s trio of Victor Odendo, Evans Letting and Arou Chan as well as James Mwangi, Job Byron, Kevin Kigotho and Khaemba Situma all from Co-operative Bank. Alex Ramazani of USIU-A and Bush Wamukota complete the team.

Kenchic, a leading poultry company is the official catering provider with a sponsorship worth Sh.800, 000.

Kwese Sports venture in local sports

Kwese Free Sports will air the entire tournament live as they start venturing into the local sporting industry.

“For Kwese to broadcast 10 games live, is an invaluable investment. They have put a lot in marketing and promoting this tournament to make it happen,” Finley added.

Monicah Ndung’u, the General Manager Kwese Free Sports in Kenya said they are looking towards making the partnership a long-term deal.

“We air NBA but for us, it's not all about international basketball. We are looking forward to honing local skills which makes this partnership very exciting. This is just a start.”

Two games will be aired daily starting with Sunday when Juba plays Mombasa at 3:30 p.m. and Nairobi Morans play Dar es Salaam at 5:30 p.m.

Africa City Challenge has come on board to support the annual Inter-cities Championship that has been happening for the last 17 years.

They seek to support the competition and offer consistent sponsorship. The first edition was played in 1999 and hosted by Dar es Salaam where only three cities took part; the host, Nairobi and Mombasa.

It grew into a six-city tourney and Agina Wesonga who has been part of the organizers for the entire period is happy with the new development.

“We are happy that this year’s tournament will be bigger than other years since we have sponsors. It has always been difficult bringing all the cities together but for this year, they have been catered for including meals and accommodation,” Wesonga noted.

The winner will proceed to the inaugural ACC-Africa Tournament where they will face off with teams from West and Southern Africa.