BY Isaac Akugizibwe
KIU, Main Campus – Rachel Akinyi Odhiamb, a star player for the KIU Rangers, the female basketball team for the University, has promised to up her game ahead of her third season with the team. She hopes to lead the Rangers to the 2020 FUBA championship.
The 21-year-old shooting guard played a pivotal role that saw KIU Rangers finish third in FUBA league last year below, UCU and JKL Dolphins respectively. She was elected best player of the game five times in 18 games. She won a gold medal at every occasion.
Akinyi is currently living in Garanga Hostel from where she's been doing individual training to remain fit for the season. She said that the training she's undergoing will help her perform better than the previous two seasons.
"I want my team to be champions or at least reach finals this time," Akinyi said. "I train on my own to also improve my performance and become better at every step."
The 2020 FUBA league for both males and females which was supposed to begin at the end of March was postponed until further notice by Federation of Uganda Basketball Association following COVID-19 lockdown.
The Kenyan born second year student of Environmental Science and Management joined the KIU Main Campus on 7th, May 2018 and has since been one of the most consistent players in the University's female basketball team.
About Akinyi Rachel Odhiambo
Akinyi was born on 7th, March 1999 at Matter Hospital, South B in Nairobi Kenya to Caleb Odhiambo Osewe and Mama Linet Atieno Obiero.
She started playing basketball in 2014 while in form two at Our lady of Mercy High School after being challenged by her would be coach.
"I started playing basketball when Coach George told me to stop wasting my height," Akinyi said. She used to play football ball before being challenged by Coach George.
Her professional career started at Eagle Wings basketball club who play in the Kenyan National Basketball League. She was called up to the national Under 18 team that won the “Three on Three Zone Five Tournament” in Mombasa. Her exceptional leadership skills convinced Kenya's national female basketball coach to entrust her with the captaincy of the team.
Akinyi joined KIU on 7th May 2018 to pursue a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management on a fully sponsored scholarship. The university opted to cater for her academic and hostel expenses because of her extraordinary basketball skills and sporting character.
"Many institutions across East Africa were interested in my services but I chose KIU because of her exceptional learning environment which is of international standards," Akinyi offered.
She was part of the KIU Rangers team that finished 7th in the national league in 2018. In the 2019 season Akinyi would help KIU to finish third in the league. Her undisputable performance won her five 'Player of the Game' medals in 18 games.
"I really attribute my exceptional performance to my coach Roger Sserunyingo and my dad who always challenges me to always do my best,” she said.
The shooting guard added that her personal coach only identified as Babji is another great inspiration in her life. In the NBA, she draws her inspiration from Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.