Basketball? Definitely my favourite sport at all times!
Being in Strathmore is in itself a bit of a sport – a package. To add a physical one to that…well, one must be dedicated and passionate about it. Waking up every day, finding the right outfit so as to be on the right books of the guards and fashion ladies, running to school to make sure you’re on time for your class, CATs or even exams, can be quite the extreme sport… being a Stratizen! It’s an interesting cycle of going for practice from Monday to Friday. The exhaustion, the patience, the clear communication towards your peers, the trust, the pragmatism, the commitment, the motivation, the flexibility, and the collaboration can be utterly overwhelming. This, however, is not the case for Dennis Koja.
Dennis Koja’s basketball journey
“My brother, a former player, introduced me to the sport. I was initially a soccer player but my brother managed to convince me to try out basketball citing that there were more opportunities for me in the sport as compared to soccer. You see, most people consider me quite tall and athletic ability. What I love most about the sport is the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life all the time. It is a team sport and calls for teamwork, patience, and discipline, just to mention a few. It requires a lot of time and energy to master. Training… lots of training! is how my teammates and I prepare for tournaments to make certain we bring the medal and pride back Home, as we fondly call Strathmore. That and constantly reminding each other of the end goal we expect to achieve.
The most memorable game I have played in was back in August 2022 when the University allowed me to participate in the BAL( Basketball Africa League) qualifiers in South Africa. We played against the Cape Town Tigers – a team constituted of world class players, and I managed to hold my own against them! This is definitely one of my proudest moments as a basketball player.
My scariest and most challenging times – almost having a career ending injury back when I was still a rookie. I got a badly rolled ankle which put me out for about four months. I thought of quitting the sport all together but support and constant affirmations from my parents and friends enabled me to keep a cool head till I was back on my feet and on the court again playing the game I love.
As we pen off, my few words to someone who is just starting to play basketball… Different people have different levels of comprehension and retention, so never despair when your peers seem to be grasping concepts and skills faster than you. Be patient and resilient in your training and eventually you will get to the top.
My main goal right now is to get an opportunity to represent Kenya on an international level.
This article was written by Zeinab Mustafa, a 3rd Year Communications student.
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