Kenyan-born basketball player Josephine Achieng Owino was on Friday inducted into Union University’s Sports Hall of Fame.
The 6 feet- 3 inches, 34-year-old Owino played four years at Union University, located in Jackson, Tennessee from 2005 to 2009, helping the team win two NAIA National titles in 2008 and 2009. Additionally, she was named an NAIA/WCBA player of the year in 2008 and 2009, and an NAIA All-American three times.
Having been recruited from Mombasa High School by Union University, Owino finished her college career with 2,240 points (fourth all-time for the school) and 1,034 career rounds (3rd all-time best) and averaged over 15.8 points per game.
Owino was drafted in the third of the 2009 WNBA draft by the Washington Mystics, the only player from Union University to ever have been drafted into the league. She also became the first Kenyan basketball player to be drafted by and play for the WNBA.
She played for Washington in the 2009 season and for Indiana Fever in 2010.
At the induction ceremony, Owino thanked and credited her neighbor and her Mombasa High School principal for having introduced her to basketball. After joining the game, she helped the high school win a national championship. She also featured in the Kenyan national women basketball team while still in high school.
“I did not like basketball, in fact if it was not for my neighbor Jackline Ododa who introduced me to her High school coach, maybe I could not have even played the game at all”, Owino told guests at the induction ceremony.
“Still, I did not take the game of basketball seriously when I joined form one and it was until my father passed on in August of the same year, and Mombasa High School Principal Lazzar Allapat promised my mother that I would study free through to fourth form if I played basketball."