The national men’s basketball team head coach Liz Mills, has relished an opportunity of coaching at the upcoming 30th edition of the 16-nation AfroBasket Championship set to take place in the Rwandan capital Kigali from August 24 to September 5.
The Morans made history after stunning heavyweights Angola 74-73, in a nail-biting contest in Yaoundé, Cameroon hence booking a place at the African tournament for the first time since 1993.
“After my 1st FIBA Africa Zone VI Club Championship in 2012, I said I wanted to be the 1st woman to lead a men’s team at AfroBasket competition. In August this dream will become a reality” she wrote on her official Twitter handle.
Mills has experience of working in African basketball dating back more than a decade. She has worked as a consultant, but has also coached various teams, including the Patriots in the Rwanda top flight, while also serving as an assistant coach for the Zambia and Cameroon national teams.
It had been 27 years, since Kenya participated at the continental level. So perhaps, Mills is what the doctor recommended for the underachieving national team.
In a male dominated field, the Australian has defied all odds to put up an excellent show when it mattered most. She believes she will break the near three decades’ jinx and place Kenya on the table of Africa elite basketball nations.
“I think it was a way of looking more professional but also reminding everybody that I’m a woman and I’m not afraid of that and I want you to know that,” Mills said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“I wanted to walk in and be like, this is me, here I am.”
The 55-year-old has not shied away from encouraging fellow women to take up leadership roles in the society in order to strengthen their foothold and further increase their numbers in ‘challenging environments’.
Kenya will battle it out for the continental honour with other African giants and Mills believes there is every reason for the girl child to aim higher: “Women can do anything and we should not put limitations on ourselves. If you want to be a doctor, an astronaut, you want to be a head coach you should be out to do anything you want and our generation will continue to break barriers and the young girls can dream of doing anything,” said Liz.
The tactician was previously in Nairobi in 2015 when she engaged in coaching programmes as well as working with the university league but has generally been in the continent since 2011 after graduating with a degree in Sports Science and Sports Management in 2008