16 October, 2019
22 December
14 Tom Wamukota (KEN)
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Wamukota joins Rwanda's Patriots with Basketball Africa League title in mind

NAIROBI (Kenya) - Tom Wamukota joined Patriots BBC mainly for one thing: to guide the Rwandese national champions to the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL) title.

Even as they wait for the tournament to start his confidence remains sky high because they have a solid team that is composed of talents and the fact that they will be playing in their own backyard and in front of their frenzied fans, gives them high hopes.

''I think that our chances are pretty high of winning it especially being on home ground," the Kenyan international alludes, "Looking at our team, I am very confident in what we can do and what we can achieve.''

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many players have not touched a ball neither have they played together for months but they continue to  train individually under their coaches guidelines as they wait for the lock down to be eased.

''It's a tough situation,'' Wamukota observes, "Not really doing much as a team but we will slowly but surely get there for sure once we start preparing as a team.''

Wamukhota said that about seven or eight of his teammates play for the Rwandan national team so they have solid local players to bank on and experience to help them prepare both physically and mentally.

Patriots, he revealed, has an American point guard and there is another forward also coming for the competition that many believe will transform the landscape of basketball on the continent of Africa.

The 2.11m (7 ft) former Wichita State standout who arrived in Kigali earlier this year and had played only one game, said he will be in the "beast mode during the tournament and will give the fans a show as always."

Wamukota arrived at Patriots from Tunisia where he turned out first for Union Sportive Monastir, who are their BAL rivals before switching clubs to join JSK. He is ready to impress in Africa's premier men's basketball league.

''I can't wait to play again. Every sports person knows how you always miss the game and yarn for the feeling of putting in work and seeing the celebration when you win. Nothing beats that,'' he beamed.

The versatile Wamukota who is a fiery competitor and an astute rebounder of the ball is a son of sporting parents who starred for the Kenya national volleyball teams in their hey days.

During the AfroBasket Pre-Qualifiers in Nairobi in January, he had his best game in the decider against South Sudan cleaning the glass for a tournament high of 18 rebounds in a 72-68 victory.

Patriots assistant coach Ben Oluoch is convinced the towering Wamukota will be key to the side during the competition. He said the towering Kenyan international has a bright future in the team. 

''He will bring to the side an inside presence that we need,'' Oluoch observed adding. "He is vocal and has a 7 feet wing span to cover the lanes.''

The tactician noted that Wamukota is the best post player to defend the pick and roll offense and also cleans the boards well which has increased the team's chances on transition basket.

Tom Wamukota starred for Kenya at FIBA AfroCan 2021

''For the time he has been at Patriots he has shown his teammates the importance of being self motivated. It is never dull in training with him around,'' noted Oluoch.

For Patriots to bag the top prize, they will face off against some of the continent's most polished sides namely - Monastir (Tunisia), FAR (Cameroon), GNBC (Madagascar), Rivers Hoopers (Nigeria) and Zamalek (Egypt).

The race that started with thirty two clubs is now headed to the home straight with only 12 top teams left to square it out in the continent's biggest ever club meeting . The answer of the pudding will be in the eating.