Rwanda national basketball team head coach Moise Mutokambali has named a provisional 16-man squad of local players to start preparations for this year’s African Basketball Championships.
The 2017 men’s senior continental championship is scheduled to take place from September 6 to 16 in Senegal and Tunisia. Star Times has been awarded the rights as the tournament’s official broadcaster. All the games will be live on Sport Premium.
Rwanda was handed a wildcard to participate by FIBA Africa after failing to qualify automatically from Zone V Championship in Egypt, earlier this year.
According to local basketball governing body (FERWABA) officials, the squad will start training on Monday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium.
Rwanda last appeared in this competition in 2013 in Ivory Coast. It has been drawn in Group C alongside Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon and hosts Tunisia.
Mutokambali’s team will be seeking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since the debut appearance in 2007.
The 2017 playoffs winners, Patriots have the biggest representation (4 players) on 16-player roster, followed by IPRC- Kigali and APR with three players each. Regular season league champions Rwanda Energy Group, Espoir and IPRC- South each have two players.
The local players will be joined by their foreign-based colleagues at a later date as the team bid for their best performance in Afrobasket finals yet.
The African Championship of Nations known as “FIBA Afro Basket” is the continent’s flagship competition. The first edition of the championship was held in 1962 in Cairo, Egypt and saw the host country claim the first continental title.
While the inaugural event featured five participating teams, it has since grown to gather the16 best nations on the African continent since 2007. It brings together the best African players, who compete in the world’s leading basketball leagues.
The event is held every two years but the next editions will be held every four years under the name FIBA Afro Basket Cup.
Aristide Mugabe (Patriots), Ali Kazingufu Kubwimana (REG), Sedar Sagamba (Patriots), Parfait Ishimwe (APR), Dieudonne Ndizeye (IPRC- Kigali), Herve Icyishatse (IPRC- South), Walter Nkurunziza (Patriots), Steven Havugintwari (IPRC- Kigali), Olivier Shyaka (Espoir) and Eric Munyaneza (APR)
Others are Pascal Niyonkuru (Espoir), Ali Ruzigande (APR), Bienvenu Niyonsaba (IPRC- South), Jean Paul Ndoli (IPRC- Kigali), Elie Kaje (Patriots) and Kami Kabange (REG).
Nigeria, Angola, DR Congo, Central Africa Republic, Mali, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Senegal, South Africa, Egypt, Mozambique, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco and Rwanda.