Rwanda U-16 basketball teams (boys and girls) began a three-day non-residential training camp on Friday at Amahoro Indoor Stadium as they gear up for the forthcoming FIBA Zone V Championships that will be held simultaneously from June 1-6 in Mombasa, Kenya.
The six-day biennial event will also serve as a qualifier for the 2017 FIBA Africa Under-16 Championships that will be held in Mauritius for boys and Mozambique for girls.
The boys’ team comprises 19 players and will be under the guidance of national team head coach Moise Mutokambali, while the girls’ team is under Jacques Bahige, who doubles as coach of league side Ubumwe.
According, to Bahige, the three-day training camp is aimed at facilitating them (coaches) in their selection process where it is expected that at the end of it, 15 players will be selected to continue residential training next week.
“After we select the 15 players for each team, who will go in residential camp before we choose the final teams of 12 players each, we need to go with capable players because our target is to qualify and represent Zone V like we’ve done previously,” said Bahige.
In 2015, Rwanda represented Zone V in both categories when they hosted the event in Kigali, which attracted only two teams (Rwanda and Ethiopia) in the men category. Rwanda defeated Ethiopia to qualify for AfroBasket that took place in Bamako, Mali.
In the women category, no foreign team participated, which gave Rwanda automatic qualification to the continental showpiece that took place in Madagascar.
However, in both categories, Rwanda did not go beyond the group stage finishing ninth in both categories.
This year, four countries have confirmed participation in the boys category and they include; hosts Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda while the girls’ category has five countries namely; Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.