Strathmore coach stunned by demise of point guard

By francis marangu
Jul 22, 2016
  • The basketball fraternity woke up to the shocking news of Billy Nyagosia on Wednesday morning (Photo courtesy Mid-Ego)

“I am still stunned by your death. However, as they say, the one who is adored the most by God, is the one who achieves eternal life. We will miss you and we will cherish all the happy memories we had with you.”

These are the touching words of Strathmore University men’s basketball team head coach Tony Ochieng in his tribute to Billy Nyagosia.

On Wednesday morning, the local basketball fraternity woke up to the shocking news of Nyagosia’s death. He was a point guard for Strathmore Blades.

“To his dear parents, only those who have gone through tough and painful times know what it is like to be at the helm of such affairs. Just like you, I will never forget the moments we had with Billy and we will always miss him. We love you. Our deepest sympathies are with you,” Ochieng eulogised Nyagosia.

“Please call us if you want someone to talk to during this tough moment and we will be there for you. Most important, our prayers and thoughts are with you as we all mourn. Please accept our sincere condolences. Lala Salama Billy.”

On the court, Nyagosia was a tough guard who stood out for Strathmore.

Because of his outstanding leadership role on and off the court, the Strathmore family nicknamed him “chairman”. He was the defacto spokesman of Strathmore University when it came to matters basketball.

Literally, many people would not recognize the name Nyagosia until “chairman” came in. Whenever Ochieng was not around to lead Strathmore from the touchline, Nyagosia stood in as the coach for both Strathmore University and Blades teams.

That is how far his leadership capabilities went to and every player in both teams respected him.

Humble ball boy

He was recruited by Ochieng in 2013 and at the time, he says Nyagosia was a “humble ball boy at Maseno School”.

Ochieng notes that by the time he scouted Nyagosia, he was not a star player but he had great influence on players like George Okoth (Blades captain), Tiberius Menya (with Ulinzi Warriors) and Samuel Odera.

“I recruited Chairman in 2013 in my developmental side that used to play at Railways and he moved step by step until his sudden demise. Billy had a lot of influence in the team and assisted the team by winning almost all trophies apart from the KBF title.”

The gap Nyagosia has left is big in a season Blades are looking to claim a maiden league title.

“He was very energetic and had the stamina by taking any bull by its horns. He was small in size but could fight for the team to win. His presence could be felt anytime he was on the court and on the bench by giving out instructions. He had the determination for the team to win,” Ochieng added.

Ronnie Owino, the Strathmore ladies head coach described Nyagosia as a leader and ultimate player any coach would love to have.

“Death creeps upon us and plucks the very best. Rest in peace Chairman for we are better off having known you. You enriched the lives of those you associated with in very many different ways. Therefore, death has no sting because you enriched our lives. Till we meet again Son,” he wrote on his Facebook page.

Nyagosia will be buried at his homeland in Kisii on July 29.

Strathmore game canceled

As a result of his demise, Strathmore’s premier league game against Lions on Saturday has been canceled but other games will go on as planned.

The men’s Premier League game between Co-operative Bank and United States International University- Africa (USIU-A) which was abandoned last weekend has been slated for Saturday at 3 p.m.

Nairobi City Thunder could end up at the top of the log if they win their two games. They play table-toppers Ulinzi on Saturday before facing Trailblazers on Sunday.

Ulinzi are on 22 points and Thunder on 20. Co-op Bank could also claim a stake at the top. The bankers are on 20 points and play two games as well.

On Sunday, they will have their second game against Kenya College of Accountancy- University (KCA-U).

Up to four teams could be top on 18 points in women's Premier League by close of the weekend. Kenya Ports Authority and USIU-A who are not in action have 18 points each.

This weekend, Strathmore University will play Eagle Wings while Co-op Bank play Storms. Wins for Strathmore and Co-op Bank who are on 16 points each will take their tally to 18.

KBF Fixtures

Saturday: Nakuru Club vs Trailblazers (11 a.m., Menengai High School), Riara University vs MKU Thika (9 a.m., Upper Hill), World Hope vs KDF Morans (10:30), USIU Marines vs Baraka Xtreme (12 p.m.), KCA-U vs Gladiators (2 p.m.), KAA vs Upper Hill (4 p.m.), Zetech University vs Daystar University ( 9 a.m., Nyayo gymnasium), Little Prince vs Blazers (10:30), 4-Christ vs ANU (12 p.m.), Co-op Bank vs USIU Tigers (3 p.m.), Thunder vs Ulinzi Warriors ( 4:30).

Sunday: Don Bosco vs World Hope (9 a.m., Upper Hill), MKU Thika vs KDF Morans (10:30), Baraka Xtreme vs Little Prince (12 p.m.), Upper Hill vs Terror (2 p.m.), Zetech University vs KAA (4 p.m.), Zetech University vs Daystar University ( 9 a.m., Nyayo gymnasium), ANU vs Umoja (10:30), Eagle Wings vs Strathmore University (12 p.m.) Co-op Bank vs Storms (1:30), Trailblazers vs Thunder (3 p.m.), KCA-U vs Co-op Bank (4:30).