Two Kenyan girls playing in US basketball championships emerge top ten

Irene Were. [Photo Axsom Photography]

Kenyan students at Norfolk Christian School in the US Michelle Luhunga and Irene Were are among the ten best performers in the United States of America Virginia State Western Conference high school championships.

Were was ranked seventh while Luhunga followed closely in the eighth position.

American basketball FirstCoach Mike Farris sighted the two junior girls in 2019 at YMCA Shauri Moyo in Nairobi during a clinic. Luhunga has since perfected her art and was named her team’s defensive player.

Besides shining at the court, both Were and Luhunga are also excelling in their academics.

“The girls are currently doing very well both in class and basketball. They have been nominated among the top ten in their conference,” Evelyne Kedogo who is the Eagle Wings coach and works closely with Farris in East African region told a local daily.

Before the clinic last year, Luhungu was schooling at Tigoi Girls while Were was a top student at the coveted Butere Girls. They left Kenya for the US courtesy of a sponsorship by Urban Discovery Ministries.

Kedogo said the clinics will continue with that for 2020 slated for August 3-7 in Nairobi before it rolls out in Uganda and South Sudan.

The Nairobi clinic had about 80 participants all drawn from East Africa.

 “I see FirstCoach is looking to empower more mini-basket coaches by identifying those who will be taken for further training in Virginia during the international mini-basketball instructors’ network,” Kedogo said.

Faris who is a coach at Norfolk Christian Schools trained mini-basketball coaches in Uganda and South Sudan last year.