We had a few questions for Silalei Owuor who as mentioned above is Kenya Women’s basket ball team captain. Here is what she had to say.
I have always had the height and a natural talent for the sport from a young age. The culture of basketball also always intrigued me.
Did you always dream of being a basketballer?
From the time I was introduced to the sport at 6 years old, yes.
Is basketball/sports a natural born talent or something you had to cultivate?
I had the natural talent but it is something that had to be cultivated for it to really stand out. This was done primarily through my father and the college I attended in the States.
Do you have a background in sports? Say family?
Both of my parents were very athletic in the youth. My mom was a very talented field hockey player and my father was involved in basketball and athletics.
What direction would your life have taken were it not for basketball?
I would probably simply be an HR Manager in a company somewhere. But I have no doubt that I would still be successful 🙂
What’s your fitness regime like?
My current fitness regime has drastically reduced due to the lack of time with my job becoming quite hectic at times. However, I cycle about 2-3 times a week and try and look for opportunities to play pick-up basketball with friends since it is currently the off season. During the season I go to the gym 2-3 times a week and have practice 2-3 times a week.
What fitness tips would you give to young girls who dream of being basket ballers?
Make sure you have a stable, nutritious diet and play the game, even if it’s just for fun, as much as possible!
What’s your typical day like?
I wake up any time between 7-8am and get ready for the office. I either cycle to work or drive there to start at about 9:00am. I’m at the office the whole day until 4:30pm roughly after which I’ll either go for basketball practice or head home and spend some quality time with my husband until I sleep at about 10:00pm.
Is there a point/age in your opinion when it’s too late to embark on sports as a hobby/career?
I think once you’re past 21 years old you can’t start learning a sport to make it a career.
Are there any special requirements or can anyone be a basket baller?
Anyone can be a basketball player as long you have hands and a desire to play. There is even wheelchair basketball and Deaf Basketball!
Has the basketball landscape in Kenya changed over time? Any improvements? What do you think is the future?
The basketball landscape has had its ups and downs over the past decade or so. I would say that currently we are coming out of a slump and the landscape is looking a lot more positive with more investments in to the sport and development camps rising up.
What do you thing we as a country can/should do to improve sports in general and basketball in particular?
We need people in positions of leadership with a true desire to elevate the game in a positive manner. The rest is details but it must begin with appropriate leadership
Your diet must be designed to support continuous sporting. What are your go-to foods?
Protein is major. Protein helps restore and build muscle. Carbs are important for energy as well and of course a daily intake of vegetables and fruits make sure my immune system stays in check. I rarely fall sick!
What foods are absolute no nos?
There’s no food that is an absolute no no as long as it’s taken in moderation. As an athlete you have to be able to strike the balance.
How does the #AlwaysStandUpKe campaign reflect on your growing up and achieving your dreams?
Since I was in high school I’ve always wanted to encourage and empower young girls regardless of the platform. I strongly believe that a world full of empowered, educated women is a much better one and the buck begins with me.