By Ariel Okall
Editor: Brenda Mwaniki
Dominance in the Kenyan Women Basketball Premier League has been between two teams for a while; Kenya Ports Authority and Equity Hawks. They have some of the most talented household names in the business. The 2020 season will however be fun to watch since most players have traded teams and this shifts the focus from the top two teams to a third and fourth horse which could either be Zetech Sparks or Sprite Storms? Th3 Doctor’s Report did a diagnosis and came up with top 12 ballers who are going into the new season as important assets to their respective teams. Will they live up to expectations? Again that will be decided on court. The list is based on usage rate, playing time, skill set and the impact the players have in their respective clubs. Being on the National team gives a slight edgeFrom 1-12, this is the list.
1: Annerose Ndella – Equity Bank
The reigning MVP sits at the top spot like a boss. A player with a legit work ethic and an all round game. Her game heroics led Equity Hawks to a championship they truly deserved. She is a utility player, a great defender, tough and a member of the Kenya Lionesses. The MVP is the 1st pick.
2: Hilda Luvandwa- KPA
As one of the greatest players in the country, the evergreen Luvandwa takes the second spot. A great shot, experienced with an electrifying game pace, the veteran is not going anywhere . Hilda got game. And in 2020 she will be having her eyes on nothing else but the championship.
3: Natalie Akinyi-KPA
Coming in hot at number 3 is Natty who is all about Strength, skill and game IQ. Natalie Akinyi is a force to reckon with. Springing back from maternity leave to reclaim her spot in the top three, she remains one of KPA’s most important assets.
4: Melissa Akinyi-Equity
Her pace and passing ability is extraordinary. She is a good defender who plays the game with passion. She is a champion with Equity Bank and a key piece of their puzzle if they wanna retain that holy grail. She takes 4th place.
5: Debra Obunga -Zetech
Obunga jumped ship ladies and gentlemen, yes you heard that right. She is the new bonafide point god in the sparks camp. A teacher by profession, the Lioness’ point guard is always poised and when duty calls she is always ready for battle. Debby, the teacher on duty, takes five.
6: Vilma Achieng – KPA
Also a teacher by calling, she sits at six in a class of her own. Her great size allows her to bully defenders and teach them a lesson or two. Her personality is amazing on and off the court and her love for the game has taken her around the world and back. She will need to work extra hard to snatch that championship from the Equity Hawks.
7: Belinda Okoth
Belinda, the Equity pivot, is one of the tallest ballers in Kenya. She is a solid bigman and a member of the Lionesses. She is a key investment on the banker’s side. She checks in at counter number seven.
8: Selina Okumu- KPA
As a solid Defender with great pace who is always on attack mode, Selina Okumu takes the infinity 8th. Always on Mamba Mentality, the Former MVP is a fearless competitor, who never backs down from attacking the basket. KPA will need her top level performance if they wanna see that gold.
9: Lynnette Atyeno – Storms
The storms cheat code comes in at nine. She comes with a lethal shot that she can launch from downtown Ngara and doubles it up with great length and game IQ. Atyeno is bad news. She needs no introduction. Her vast experience from pro leagues in Senegal and Nigeria say it all.
10: Valerie Kemunto – Zetech
Fresh from The University of Nairobi Dynamites, she is explosive, and had an outstanding season leading the dynamites for amazing run in 2019.
Young and energetic, rumor has it she is headed to Zetech. She will surely sparkle and we look forward to seeing her explode into the scene with her new bomb squad.
11: Edna Kola – Strathmore Swords
As one of the toughest players in the league, she is always in her bag of skills.This great shooter with exemplary range has held down the Madaraka side for a while. Edna is the 11th pick.
12: Caroline Njeri – Riara
Young but lethal. She is a sniper that is taking her services to Riara Scarlets. Straight outta Kayole, Caroline njeri is representing the young ballers out there. She has been a gem from her U18 days. She was also outstanding at Africa Nazarene University as a long range shooter. Her handles and passing skills are truly amazing and she sits eagerly waiting to move even higher up the ladder of greatness.
Christine Akinyi -Zetech
Her length and aggression cannot be ignored. Her rebounding skill is top notch. She is always on beast mode and also a jovial player who loves basketball. We hope to see her sparkle with Zetech Sparks.
Mupalia Joy – Strathmore Swords
As an asset to the Strathmore Swords, she has a good post up game. It will be fun to watch how she performs in the new season. Will she come back with her sword sharp and ready for a kill? Mupalia is a prospect.
Her game IQ is something to be admired. She possesses great handles and great passing skills. She represents the Shauri Moyo-side Storms. Will she give them enough energy to storm into the league finals and storm out champions? Only time will tell.
Division one prospects:
These three ladies have dominated the Division One Basketball League. Stephenie has led the Kisumu Lady Bucks back to the premier league and we cannot wait to watch her in the big girls’ league. Delima Odindi carried her Kenya College of Accounting team, in the 2019 season, on her back. As she heads to Storms, the question is, will she be overwhelmed or will she rise to the occasion?
Stacey Ongwae a lethal bigman with great post game, she is also a fun prospect to watch and we wish her luck in the new season. we hope to see her in the big girls’ league too and rumor has it that she might suit up for Riara. Lets wait and see.
Kananu Betty didn’t finish the season as she tore her Achilles In the Zone V tournament held in Tanzania last year. Special category for Betty, a top two candidate who dominated the season but was cut short. She is coming back stronger ready to unleash her long range attacks from the arc. We wish her a quick recovery as she continues with her rehab process. Trust the process Betty.
If you feel your favorite baller was left out, feel free to leave a comment and mention your best pick.