Former Equity Hawks and Storms basketball player, Mercy Wanyama, has become the first Kenyan to ever sign a pro contract in the Spanish basketball league.
The 2016 women’s Premier League Most Valuable Player, who left the Equity Bank team in 2018 and resigned for the storms, has now signed for Spanish side Adba Aviles.
The centre-forward and former captain of Langata High School basketball team stated that she had now fulfilled her dream of making the leap to Europe.
“I wanted to play in Spain, my brother McDonald spoke very well of Asturias and I am very excited about this opportunity. Right now I am only think about the six remaining matches, but I would like to do things well and stay here longer." she divulged during her unveiling.
"I am aware that on Saturday we have a final against Arxil, and I feel very well physically, I have not stopped training,” she added.
She becomes the third member of the Wanyama family to have signed a professional sports contract in Europe following her brother and Kenyan national football team captain, Victor Wanyama, who plays for Tottenham Hotspurs in the English Premier League.
In a twist of fate, her other brother, McDonald Mariga, last year played for Spanish Segunda League side Real Oviedo, having been the first Kenyan to play in the UEFA Champions League during his stint at Inter Milan in 2010.
Her other brother, Thomas, plays for Mathare United FC in the Kenyan Premier League, while their father is a former AFC Leopards legend.
Speaking exclusively to her former coach at MTM Storms, Abel Nson, Kenyans.co.ke, established that Ms Wanyama’s new deal had been worked on over the last year.
“She was called up for the tryouts in Spain during the first week of December 2018,” her former coach revealed.
Despite having to travel just when her team was scheduled to play the league’s powerhouses, Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), in a highly anticipated semi-final, Mr Nson was full of praise for his former player.
“Ever since we signed her, we used to work tirelessly on various aspects of her game, at times training for hours on end, I am very happy for her” he revealed.
The audibly proud former coach went on to state that the move was not only good for her as an individual but that it would encourage other basketball players.
"If they put in the time and hard work consistently, they stand a chance at playing pro basketball.," he asserted.
“She is an inspiration to many,” he added.
Her new coach, Juanjo Garcia, stated that her arrival showed that the club had ambition and that she would be a source of motivation for the other players.
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