The just concluded Harry Maina and Fred Oguttu Memorial Tournament was a success in its own right, nothing short of good organization. The tournament saw interesting events unfold as well: the usual referee wrangles, big winners, losers, long awaited meet ups, dramatic occurrences with water bottles flying and my point of interest, transfer rumors turning into reality. It is quite an epic period in the Kenyan “transfer market”, let us all grab popcorn shall we?
It is just the beginning of the season and already quite a number of players are confirmed to have switched camp. Generally players move in search of greener pastures, which is ideally human. It is in our nature to want more; more money; more play time, better opportunities, better winning chance, more thrill and/or competition. This inevitable process is occasionally tough for the coaches yet it is part of the job. For every big shot (or not) gained, another is lost to a rival team. It always ends up being a game of filling in the void left or facing up to the prospect of a season with uncertainties. At some point a team is bound to the wilderness which leaves us to wonder whether there is anything that can be done to limit reasons for transfers, including personal ones.
Forget the obsession on who is moving where, sulking coaches and the winning mentality both players and coaches have. These are non issues. What are the perks for basketball standards in general? Do we focus so much on winning battles and forget the war? We have ignored the grassroots for so long and it would take a massive reforming crusade before teams can develop high quality players. A true coach is the one who can nurture players from the grassroots, developing their own before bidding for everybody else’s. The current trend is a maximum of 2 years in a team before moving on. A milestone gained in a year is lost and mentoring starts from scratch with a new team. No team culture is created, which would be a great factor in team development, not to mention spicing up the league and increasing the fan base.
Perhaps it is time we all learnt to be patient, stay the course and watch ourselves grow. For the sake of basketball development, it should not just be about the championship.
The writer is a player in the Kenya Basketball Premier League. If you want to blog for us send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.