Coastal Kings target Kenya Basketball Federation Premier League
Self-sponsored side Coastal Kings had a 2019 season to remember where they beat all odds to gain promotion to the Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) men’s Division One league from division two alongside Riara University.
Though they fell short in the playoff final, going down 3-2 to Riara, captain Anthony Gitau is confident they will hold their own in the highly competitive division as they fight for a Premier League berth.
Playing with only eight players in their squad, Coastal Kings surpassed their target of reaching the playoff semi finals to reach the final thus, gaining promotion.
“The team played in the Mombasa league for more than five years before we could join division two in 2019.
It only took two seasons for us to be promoted to division one and we are hoping to build on that momentum as we eye the top tier league,” said Gitau.
Gitau says their mentality changed from just having fun to being competitors after their 2017 playoffs that saw them promoted to division two from the county league, adding that having coach Anthony Ojukwu on board brought about an experience in executing plays that they had lacked for years and a the zeal to achieve more.
Ojukwu, who doubles as the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) men’s team tactician, joined Coastal Kings in 2018 and has managed to put his players on contracts, while at the same time helping them gain promotion to division one.
“All these players are based in Mombasa which means residents identify with them.
We had extensive talks and charted a path to scaling the heights of local basketball and we are only one step away from playing in the top tier,” said Ojukwu.
“As part of our commitment to the team, the players are on contracts. This is meant to help them benefit from their many years of hard work when the big teams come calling.
However, we are hoping that the squad stays together and we get to have a team of Mombasa-based players playing in the Premier League,” added Ojukwu.
For a region that has only KPA representing them in the Premier League, Ojukwu hopes that Costal Kings will qualify for the top tier and bring the much-needed competition.