Global Stars You Didn't Know Have Kenyan Roots

A collage image of Olivia-Nelson Odada (LEFT) and Tyler Onyango (RIGHT).
A collage image of Olivia-Nelson Odada (LEFT) and Tyler Onyango (RIGHT).

Kenya is globally known for producing brilliant sports personalities, with the likes of David Rudisha, Eliud Kipchoge and Beatrice Chepkoech, breaking world records with ease.

However, few people are aware of some athletes with Kenyan connections who are doing well in their respective fields. Olivia-Nelson Odada, Tyler Onyango and Curtis Osano are examples of such athletes.

Olivia-Nelson Odada
It is rare to find a basketballer with Kenyan roots playing in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). Olivia-Nelson Odada is an excellent example of a female basketball player with Kenyan links who overcame all the obstacles to feature in the prestigious league. 

Also Read: Why Top Kenyan Athletes Will Skip Stockholm Diamond League

She currently plays for Los Angeles Sparks. Odada has featured for the United States U-17 and U-18 national teams several times. The 21-year-old helped the US win a gold medal at the 2018 FIBA U-18 Americas Championship staged in Mexico. 

In 2018, she was rated among the best recruits by ESPN, a leading global media. Olivia is the daughter of Sebastian Odada, a former Kenyan international. Besides being talented, she is also gifted with beauty. She was recently crowned Miss Georgia Basketball.

Curtis Osano
Many people think Victor Wanyama was the first footballer with Kenyan blood to play in the English Premier League (EPL). They do not know that before the likes of Wanyama and Divock Origi, Curtis Osano featured in the lucrative league. 

Osano grew up in Nakuru county before moving to England at a young age when his dad landed a job opportunity with the British army. He has played for many English clubs including Luton Town FC, AFC Wimbledon and Reading FC. 

The powerful defender featured for Reading both in the Championships and the premier league. He later moved to Asia, where he helped Bengaluru FC clinch two Indian Premier League titles between 2013 and 2016.

Tyler Onyango
Tyler Edward Onyango is another exciting talent with Kenyan roots. The nineteen-year-old lad was born in England to a Kenyan dad and a British mother. Everton is the only team that Onyango has featured for, having joined in at the tender age of 8 years. 

He featured for Everton academy sides before eventually breaking into the first team in the 2021/2022 season. Onyango made his first team debut in a FA Cup clash against Sheffield United. 

His first team appearances in the premier league were against Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea. Although the central midfielder is currently an English international, he is still eligible to play for Harambee Stars.