Nairobi (Kenya) – Kenyan Ronnie Oeno is passionate about basketball and his voracious desire to succeed, both as a player and coach, is well known to everyone in the region.
Since his first steps into the sport at the age of eleven, on the advice of his late uncle Elijah “Niger” Adok, a former Kenya international, he has never looked back.
When he made his first trip abroad in 35 years, with the national team, doors opened for him who was then only a junior student.
Today, Ueno, born in 1964 in Kisumu, has made a name for himself across Africa, thanks to three decades he spent on and around the basketball court, as a player, coach and now as a coach for the International Basketball Federation. His career allowed him to visit 25 African countries.
He started his club career when he was in high school and then flourished at the University of Nairobi in 1984, joining the team known as “The Terrorists”.
At the age of nineteen, his distribution feats earned him his first call-up to the Kenya national team (1983). But two years later, at the FIBA AfroBasket in Abidjan (Ivory Coast), he made his debut.
“We didn’t do well, we finished last in the tournament, but it was a discovery for me, as it gave me the opportunity to compete with some of the best teams on the continent.”The 57-year-old remembers now.
Ueno was on the Kenyan team that finished fourth in the fourth edition of the African Games in Nairobi in 1987.
After the African Games qualifiers in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) in 1990, Kenya went to Kentucky (USA) to prepare for the African Games for two weeks.
Ueno asserts that this training camp in the United States has paid off, as Kenya demonstrated its supremacy in Egypt, losing only a bit (95-91) against the Pharaohs.
Kenya then competed with FIBA AfroBasket 1989 in Luanda, Angola, where it once again took the last place in the competition.
“Even though we lost all our matches, this time we competed and I have fond memories of that event.”he told FIBAbasketball.
On the current Kenyan team, Ueno comments: “Players who play abroad raise the level of the team thanks to the experience gained by playing abroad.”
Upon leaving university, Ueno joined the Kenya Airways club, where he spent a short time before joining Busta and helping that team win their first national title in 1989.
In 1992 he contributed to Busta’s third successive coronation, the first club to achieve this performance, then played a leading role in winning the inaugural East, Central and Southern Africa Championship in Harare (Zimbabwe) in 1995.
When Kenya hosted the FIBA AfroBasket 1993 in Nairobi, Ueno worked as an assistant coach. Then Moran lost in the semi-finals of the competition.
Angola won the FIBA AfroBasket 1993 in Nairobi
Thanks to the support of Olympic Solidarity, Ueno traveled to Budapest (Hungary) in 1994 to obtain a Higher National Diploma in Sports from the University of Physical Education.
In the same year, he also went to Madrid (Spain) to participate in a workshop organized by the Pedro Fernandez Foundation.
A coach in his own right, Ueno coached Busta in the 1995 African Club Basketball Championship, exiting Al Ahly (Egypt) in consecutive rounds.
In 1997, Ueno captained the Kenyan women’s team at the 1997 African Women’s Basketball Championship in Nairobi, finishing fourth.
After Busta, Ueno joined the KCB Lionesses Women’s Club, where she led their roster to win two national titles (1997 and 1998).
Between 1998 and 2000, he won regional championships in Kampala (Uganda) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) with two different teams.
He joined the Post Bank men’s club in 2003, and finished third in the National League before winning another regional title in Kampala.
In 2004, Ueno went to Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo) for a training clinic organized by FIBA Africa. He received a teacher’s diploma there and since then has been in charge of many clinics across the continent.
His last engagements were earlier this year in Mozambique and Chad. “FIBA U18 Clinics are very importantHe said, We had clinics with coaches as well as training sessions with players. »
“We taught the basics and worked on individual techniques, in order to give players a way to develop technically and tactically.”
In both countries, about 60 coaches took part in the events. The impact will be enormous, as it will allow these coaches to promote the development of basketball in these areas.
He was also the coach of the Kenya Lionesses during the 2007 African Games in Algeria (Algeria), and he finished fifth.
He then participated in another edition of the FIBA AfroBasket in Maputo (Mozambique) and his last appearance in charge of Kenya dates back to the 2019 edition of the continental championship organized in Dakar (Senegal), with the last eleventh place.
Currently, Ueno is the coach of the Strathmore University club and is also the longtime president of the Nairobi Basketball Association (NBA).
He concludes by noting all the talent Kenya possesses and is convinced that with the experience gained abroad by many Kenyans, the results will soon follow.