KBF, MadGoat deal leaves bitter taste

Tuesday, December 24th, 2019 00:00 |
Samba Mjomba Equity Bank Hawks dribbles the ball during the women’s Premier League playoff against KPA last week. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

In May 2019, the local basketball league was touted to never be the same again as Kenya Basketball Federation (KBF) secured a lucrative five-year Sh100 million sponsorship deal.

The deal, penned with Dubai-based businessman Ricardo Badoer, owner of Badoer Investment Ltd, was to give the KBF Sh20 million, renewable annually for the running of the league and national team activities.

Sources privy to the details of the contract indicate that the federation was given the liberty to allocate the monies to activities of their choice.

Badoer Investments would in return own KBF leagues’ broadcast rights through MadGoat TV.

The announcement was received with a lot of excitement from the basketball fraternity. However, the ending left a lot to be desired as winners were treated to shambolic award ceremonies.

In addition to the executive being a no-show in the men’s league premier league award ceremony, Division One men’s league winners, Terror, had to content with a trophy without medals.

Terror were awarded on the last day of the league alongside women’s league champions and Division Two men’s league title holders.

No monetary reward

Their expectations were crushed further as information on any form of monetary reward for their efforts was not forthcoming and like in previous editions that ran without a league sponsor, they walked away with a pat on the back for their exploits.

“We have not held any discussions on any reward ceremony. I also cannot confirm whether there was any agreement on cash rewards for the winners.

Those are issues only the chairman, treasurer and Secretary General can give direction on,” said the federation’s fixtures secretary Joseph Amoko as the other three mentioned office holders did not respond when we reached out for clarification.

Meanwhile, Ulinzi Warriors and Equity Bank Hawks won the men’s and women’s league respectively.

The feat for the former meant they get a chance to represent the country in the next edition of the newly-introduced Basketball Africa League (BAL).

 As for Hawks, they have a chance to get back to the Africa Club Championship. They also side missed out on the same this season after losing the FIBA Africa Zone Five final.

It was a year to forget for the Kenyan representatives, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), in the two continental competitions.

After finishing in second place at the Zone Five competition to book a place in the women’s club championship, KPA were unable to attend the showpiece held in Egypt.

Morans soar

 Their male counterparts sacrificed their own resources to pay for transport and accommodation to be part of the second round BAL qualifiers in Rwanda. This, after it became clear the team’s management would not sponsor their participation.

They, however, did not proceed past the group stage despite winning the two matches they played. A walkover had already been awarded in the match they missed against Uganda’s City Oilers, denying them crucial points.

Despite the setbacks, there are positives to write home about especially on the national team assignments.

Men’s team Morans made headlines for the right reasons as they held their own to clinch silver at the newly introduced FIBA AfroCAN championship, a competition for local-based players with an allowance of two internationals.

Denmark-based Tyler Ongwae and Tom ‘Bush’ Wamukota made the All-Star five at the Bamako, Mali event.

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