One on One with KPA's Hellen Oketch

One on One with KPA's Hellen Oketch

One on One with KPA's Hellen Oketch

Becoming an MVP is every player’s dream in the Kenya Basketball’s League and for one Hellen Oketch, being crowned the 2010 MVP in the women category was her best achievement besides helping her team, KPA to be crowned the 2010 champions in a game she does not want to quickly forget.

In the 2010 play offs,Hellen’s prowess helped her team to overturn a first defeat at their KPA backyard in Mombasa winning their final two of best of three matches in Nairobi against 2009 champions Eagle Wings to be crowned champions of the 2010 season in a tense encounter.

Having begun her professional basketball career at KPA in 2008, Hellen who was born, brought up and studied in Mombasa has steadily risen to become almost an unrivalled two-man in the ladies category. The way she goes about her offensive game is something every coach admires. She isn’t the kind of player who just chucks the ball whenever it comes her way. She’s a shooter and also one of the smartest players on the floor who rarely makes a bad decision in the court when possessing the ball. Attributing her success to her High school coach Philip Onyango,

“He’s the one who identified and helped me nurture my talent and career while at Mombasa High School back in 2003 to 2005,” she thanked him.

The media-shy guard who also studies at Mombasa Technical Training Institute finds no pleasure in playing any other game other than basketball. “I love playing basketball, no any other game thrills me like basketball,” she says in a statement that justifies why she is the best in her own words.

Recalling her path to success, she remembers some of her lowest points in the League and other tournaments, she reminisces “one such game was in 2008 after joining KPA while playing against USIU, everyone in the team was not happy with the way I played, even the coach was not impressed with me at all but I kept my cool knowing I could do better than that. The bad day on the court inspired me to work harder and impress them more in our subsequent matches.” She remembers.

Her best games too as a KPA player are still vivid in her mind. “During the 2009 Zone 5 championships held in Kampala, I was not the MVP but my
assists were vital in helping my team win the tournament,” she says while heaping praises on her current coach Anthony Ojukwu for helping her sharpen her skills.

“Eagle Wings of course are our greatest threats in the League,” she does not miss to say. “However, Strathmore University team too has a lot of talent and they need just one or two seasons to have the experience it takes to become champions,” she says of the varsity side that she admits are their greatest threat after Eagle Wings.

Despite the upcoming talent and growth, Hellen’s advice to them is “They must be disciplined and ready to train harder though, because to succeed in the game one needs focus, determination and above all maintain a lot of self discipline and team discipline that will move them up the ladder of success.” She says.

“Am not there yet because being at the top could be easy but maintaining the top position is a hard task. I will focus on ensuring I keep my form to maintain the top.” She quipped while running away from our endless camera shutters to join her team-mates.

At we wish Hellen all the best in her quest to become one of the finest basketball players in the region and Africa.          

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