RWANDA has started preparations to assemble a formidable Under-18 team for the upcoming Fiba-Africa Zone 5 championship set to be staged in Kampala, Uganda.
According to the technical advisor of the local basketball federation (Ferwaba), Innocent Karuhije, the team will be mainly built around clubs who took part in the inaugural junior basketball championship last year.
APR swept the inaugural league after ousting Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) in the boy’s category and Nyamirambo’s St. Andrew in the girls’ fray.
Karuhije added that negotiations are also underway with Fiba-Africa to have Rwanda host the 2011 Zone 5 Under 18 Championship.
“We did a good job with the recent FIBA Africa Club Championship and believe we can do the same with the Under-18s,” the official noted.
Ferwaba has meanwhile promised to provide some financial support to top division clubs.
“We think funding the clubs will make the league more competitive and as such avoid cases where clubs have to drop out because of lack of funds.”
He also feared that the departure of 2007 league champions Marines will have a far reaching impact on the competitiveness and thrill of this year’s league.
Marines ceased league action days before their playoff tie against Espoir citing financial failures.
The players are now seeking sponsorship to make a comeback as a new team.