Silalei (Shani) Owuor ’09
Human Resource Management
What does it take to be a professional athlete?
Silalei (Shani) Owuor ’09 is learning that like any other professional pursuit, it takes time, commitment and hard work. However, for Owuor, not only is she pursuing a sport she is passionate about, she is making a name for the sport and its popularity across Kenya as captain of the Kenyan Women’s National Basketball Team.
Owuor’s drive to the top began with a spot on her local Nairobi team, the Eagle Wings, which is part of the Kenya Basketball Federation’s Premier League. Her involvement in the local league led to coaches scouting her, and eventually to a spot on the national team. Owuor has been playing with the Eagle Wings since 2010 and the national team since 2011.
In addition to her professional basketball career, Owuor combines her degree in human resource management with her knowledge of basketball in her job with Africa Insight Communications. There, Owuor serves as human resources manager, producer and co-host of the basketball magazine show “Baqe” that airs on Zuku, East African satellite television. The show focuses on the Kenya University Basketball League, while giving insight on basketball culture, characters and supporters too.
Owuor’s love of basketball began when she was only 7-years-old and she played with her father and brothers. She continued developing her skills and then made her way to Messiah, where she was a star player on the women’s basketball team which made it to the 2008 national championship game during her junior year.
Owuor says the independence she gained as an international student in college helped prepare her for the world and life beyond college. “Being an international student and living miles away from home, I had to become strong and self-sufficient,” said Owuor. “Developing those characteristics has helped me handle challenges very well.”
As for her future in basketball, Owuor says she will always be passionate about the game and will continue to pursue the sport for the foreseeable future, but she’s taking it one step at a time and looking to God for guidance.
“I have other dreams, especially in the areas of African development that I want to achieve,” says Owuor, “ but I think what is great is that my current involvement in basketball is contributing to my main mission.
“I believe there is so much potential for growth in Africa, and I’ve always wanted to come back and give back after attaining an excellent education at Messiah,” Owuor continued. “God has provided me with skills in basketball, so I believe that is the avenue that he wants me to use to achieve my ultimate mission: to teach girls the value of education and sport, and show how important they are to the African community.”
Posted on October 4th, 2013