“Rest in heaven Kenneth Ode”


Ode (in a red hat) with his teammates,

Kenneth Odhiambo aka Ode brought a light to Kenyan basketball by playing the game we all love with passion and a rare aggression only seen in a few players. Kenneth Ode took his last breath on 10th June 2020. Although he is gone, his light still shines on in the hearts of the many with whom he played, interacted and associated. As we cope with the grief of losing a loved one, it should only serve as a reminder that it is the price we pay for loving him as dearly as he deserved. Th3 #doctor’s report spoke to some of his teammates, friends and family members on how they remember him and they eulogized him as a legend. These are some of their heartfelt messages:

Paul Otula- Kenya Basketball Federation Chairman

Kenneth Ode played for the Ulinzi Basketball Team for a long time till work-related pressure limited his availability. He was an excellent post player and could be a 5/4 man anytime. Kenneth was a polite and very humble basketball player. May Almighty God rest his soul in eternal peace.

Elijah Koranga- Kenya Defence Forces Sergeant Major

I am saddened by the untimely demise of coach Ode. He was a great friend to my family and he nurtured the spirit of sports in my children. I feel grateful for his selfless commitment. On behalf of the family, accept our deepest condolences. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Ulinzi Warriors Basketball Club

We all feel a deep sense of loss for what he meant to all of us. Hundreds of people loved him for so many different reasons. It is just tragic and there are no words that can describe how everybody feels about it.


Ode (right) showing off trophies in a past championship match


Agatha Jamari – Niece

He was a great guy. I don’t know how many people can say that they’ve been out with their uncle and had fun; those are memorable moments. he brought me into the world of basketball and the community. He made me feel safe so all the madness did not bother me but most importantly, he was always there to set me straight when I made mistakes. It will surely be lonely without him but I am happy that he lived to his fullest and glad to have been part of that.

Benard Mufutu- Teammate

I will always remember him as the most resilient  guy on the floor. He would get  knocked down and hit so many times in the game and we’d all think he was out but it only ever lasted a few minutes. He’d get up and play like nothing happened but with a tad more aggression. He was never the kind to hold a grudge on the basketball court. We had a nickname for him; the HUMBLE GIANT. Coupled with great charisma, he had a great sense of humor and a knack for storytelling when he got into his zone.

As a friend, he encouraged me to strive for greatness and never to give up. He had this saying, `It never cost anyone an arm or a leg to be humble and respectful.’

To his family, I pray that the Lord gives you the strength and courage to get through this difficult time. #Restwellhumblegiant#


Stephen Bartilol -Team Manager Ulinzi Warriors

Most people will remember Ken Ode as a magnificent athlete who inspired a whole generation of basketball players, but we will always remember him as a man who was much more than an athlete, a medic, a soldier and God fearing.

He was a transcendent figure who inspired many far beyond the basketball court. He retired from the game in 2012. A good person has left us and his soul soared unto heaven. We part with our beloved in pain. – RIP


Cliff Owuor- Morans Head Coach

I met Ode for the first time in1994 when we were teammates in Nairobi garrison. Later on I coached him in 2001-2002 as Ulinzi warriors coach. He was humble and very competitive. I have lost a good friend. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

William “Willy” Ochieng – Teammate

When I first met Ken Ode, I was I rookie back in 2003, just joining the MAB basketball team. Big John (John Apollo), Chopper (Moses Shida), Star ( Stanley Ndicu), Ken Nzomo, Ben Aruda and Ode made me the player I am today. Playing against him inspired me to hit the gym mostly because of his physic. I can say I copied a bit of his playing style and that helped me survive all those years in the Premiere League since 2005. Ken Ode I owe u a lot and even though you have left us, your legacy lives on. May your soul rest in peace till we meet again.

Ode (right) suited up at a past defence forces party

Makedi Opiyo – Colleague

Ode…humble, friendly, accommodative. We loved you but God loves you more. Shine on your way…tutaonana baadae.

Eric Otieno- Teammate

When I first came to the team, I remember wanting to play with the same passion as you did. You recognized my potential and encouraged me to aim higher and to perfect my shots; something I still do. I remember your basic post moves, shake n bakes; you were really good at all of it. Hard contact ni kitu hukujali ata upate dents na cuts you kept going, A Warriors heart indeed. ULINZI!..WAR!….WAR!…WAR!…A friend and true basketball player. You will be missed… Rest in peace bro.

Scotch Alich

Ode was like a brother to me. He was always there to check up on me and to make sure I was doing okay and I am more than grateful for this.

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our loved ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy. Ode you are and will always be that brother that everyone wants to have. You lived by example and made sure we loved abundantly. Even though you are gone you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace Soldier


Felmas Adhiambo

Kenneth Odhiambo (Ode) was a brother to many but to me, he was also a friend, a mentor, and part of the family. He valued training and valued upcoming players. My brother Emanuel Ochieng  and I happened to be among the lucky ones to pass through his hands in the early stages of our basketball careers. He was a friend on and off the court to us.  His demise was a total shock to me. I pass my heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family and friends. May the Almighty grant you comfort.


Ancette Wafula- Teammate

I learnt of Ode’s demise with much difficulty. He was a great teammate, humble and very respectful despite the age difference. He taught me one thing through his way of play; that there will always be obstacles between you and your target and that success doesn’t come without struggles and commitment. His is part of my success journey today and will always be. May God rest his soul in eternal peace.


Tom Opar- Close friend

Ken Ode was my brother from another mother and my Commander, T (Tusker) Brigade. I only have great memories that I shared with him and with our Ulinzi Warriors family both on and off the court. The one and only Ken Ode, the most humble giant I had as a friend and a brother😭. My heart bleeds as it hits me that he is gone, Its too soon. Rest in Power my fallen WARRIOR…21 GUN SALUTE.

Ode in his official army uniform


Moses Shida (Chopa)- Teammate

Ode was a very humble and outgoing  guy. He had a vast  knowledge of First Aid. He always told me never give up and and always advised me to control  my anger. He was a great player and a brother to me. I will miss  him.  May God rest his soul in Heaven.

Dieter Okoth-  Teammate

Well, Ode was a real one, down to earth and never pretended. If you wronged him he would tell you there and then. He was a caring brother. Anytime you asked him for help he loved to share. May he Rest In Peace.

Eddy Kitsao

I remember Ode as a team player; we called him the king of loose balls. He fought for every possession. He had one of the best jump shots I have seen. He never chose who to befriend and who not to. He talked to everyone about basketball and gave us advice about general life experiences. He never wanted to see anyone in the team in trouble especially financially. So on and off the court he was family and a true friend to me and to Ulinzi warriors. I’m gonna miss this dude.

Kenya Basketball National Teams (Mercine Milimu- Team Manager)

We, the Kenya Morans and Lionesses extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the late Kenneth Ode. He was a mentor to many young basketball players and nurtured so many talents that continue to make Kenya Proud. May his soul rest in peace.


Byron Wasilwa- Teammate

His character and big heart made him stand out. He was like a brother to me. He was always by my side no matter what happened, for better or for worse. We are all very saddened by his departure. May his soul rest in peace.


Tobias Odumbe

Kenneth Ode was a ferocious big man, very intimidating inside the paint. I will remember him as a true warrior. May he rest in peace.


Chris Ogutu – Team Manager, Kenya Ports Authority Basketball

Ken Ode was a very astute player, hardnose to the core in his role in the team. He was one soldier that you would want to take into battle because he gave 110% and then some. He played for the brand and you always knew he had your back. To his family and the Ulinzi basketball club in general, please accept our sincere condolences on behalf of the KPA basketball teams. Give him a send off befitting is stature and please record for us the last trumpet sound of his retreat.


 Bernet Ojay- Team Manager, Nairobi City Thunder basketball team

It is a really dark moment for the Ulinzi team and the basketball fraternity as a whole. Ode was instrumental in the Ulinzi team that won back to back championships back then. I got to know him personally when he joined ICC now Thunder just after he’d left Ulinzi. We were a couple of young bloods on the team and he’d teach us some post moves while cautioning that the post is no-one’s bedroom but a war-zone. Even away from the court, we continued our interactions by visiting his place in Rongai. It truly is a sad moment. On behalf of the Thunder family, my heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. We have lost a warrior. It is well, rest in peace Kenneth Ode.


John Apollo- Teammate

Comrades, I just don’t know to take this news of my brother, teammate, relative and more so , my tag team half. I just feel so confused and lost. I feel as if I am not ready for this. May the Almighty give us strength.


A humble and quiet giant yet his actions were so loud. He leaves a better world behind than he found. He has touched uncountable hearts and changed many lives. His impact has been felt far beyond the basketball court and he will be missed  by everyone. Today he makes his journey to his final resting place in Ogongo, Lambwe, Homabay county. Leaving a legacy behind to be emulated by all, those who knew him, those who didn’t and those who will hear about him. Twenty-one gun salute in honor of the fallen warrior, a soldier with the hearty of a lion… Kenneth Odhiambo Ode. May God have mercy on your soul and may you rest in peace until the day we hoop again in a paradise that we were promised.


by Dr. Ariel Okall

edited by Brenda Mwaniki

By Ariel Okall


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