Five ISK middle school students played on the JrNBA FAM KE Warriors team and are coached by Chester Oluoch and Ben Piper.
The FAM KE Warriors are the 2018 JrNBA Champions! Five ISK middle school students played on the JrNBA FAM KE Warriors team and are coached by Chester Oluoch and Ben Piper. The Warriors defeated the Elite Pacers 34-30 in front of a packed crowd at Nyayo National Stadium on September 29th. Simon, Braelyn, Kezi, Silas and Solomon worked together with their teammates from across Nairobi to go undefeated this season and bring home the championship. Kezi said that the season and winning the championship was "one of the best experiences of my life! It taught me so much."
Silas shared that getting to play with kids from across the city was a highlight for him. He adds, "I made new friends and learned new skills. We had to learn how to work together and eventually, we did. It was cool." Simon said that, "it was a good experience for me, because there were lots of players better than me and they pushed me to be a better player." The team practiced each week in addition to having almost weekly games throughout the season. Solomon said that working together as a team was always fun and that the JrNBA season was "a great experience and taught me a lot about basketball and myself."
FAM KE faced tough competition from the other 30 teams in the league and the season was not without its challenges. Solomon recalled that, "we had to face some really great teams before winning the championship. It was a very competitive and hard challenge but we lived up to it in the end." Kezi agreed and added that it could be challenging to work with people "older and a lot bigger" but that playing with the Warriors this season and in the JrNBA league "boosted my confidence a whole lot - to shoot more and to not be afraid to get blocked."The FAM KE Warriors was started five years ago by two former ISK parents, Troy White and Kevin Ashley, and brings young players each week to ISK from all over Nairobi to practice and play basketball and as a result, builds leadership and community. Braelyn summed up the season and spirit of FAM KE by adding, "I learned the love and passion that people have for basketball. No matter how wealthy they are or what environment they live in, no matter how tall they are, they play with their hearts for the game. I remember there was a 7 year old who played against us. He was up to my hip but he played like a monster. He didn't care that he was that short. We just wanted to play. I learned that basketball isn't only about winning. It's about doing something that you love doing."