Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWABA) has confirmed a total 14 basketball clubs will grace this year’s local edition of the memorial tournament in honour of the basketball fraternity members who lost their lives during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The one-week long tourney kicks off this Friday and run through May 19 in Kigali.
The annual tournament will attract nine teams in men’s category and five in women’s category.
The male category includes eight league sides and the national U-18 national team, while the women’s showpiece will be contested by four league clubs and the U-18 youth team.
Formerly called Gisembe memorial tournament, the competition was first staged in 1996 by Espoir basketball club in memory of former Espoir player and coach, Emmanuel ‘Gisembe’ Ntarugera, who was killed in the Genocide.
However, in 2015, FERWABA in conjunction with Espoir Basketball Club, decided to stage two separate tournaments: a local and regional segment of the tournament.
Basketball is one of the sports that was heavily affected by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, having lost over 30 of its athletes, coaches and administrators during the tragedy.
The regional edition will be held shortly after the conclusion of the local edition.
Full 14-team list
Group A: Rwanda Energy Group (REG), IPRC- Kigali, APR and the National U18 boys team
Group B: Holders Espoir, newly crowned league champions Patriots, IPRC-South, United Generation Basketball Club (UGB) and Rusizi
Women: APR, The hoops, Ubumwe, IPRC-South and the National U18 girls team.