The national U-16 boys’ basketball team have began training in preparation for the forthcoming FIBA Africa Under-16 Championships that will run from July 13-22 in Vacoas-Phoenix, Mauritius.
Rwanda will represent Zone V at the biennial event for the second time in a row after successfully defending FIBA U16 African Championship 2017 Zone 5 Qualifiers title in Mombasa, Kenya last month.
The team of 18 players under the guidance of head coach Moise Mutokambali who also doubles as the senior team coach and his assistant Aime Kharim Nkusi will be training daily at Amahoro indoor stadium and will be staying at Green Hills Academy for close to 2 weeks before they depart for Mauritius.
“We actually started non-residential training last week, we entered camp on Friday and we have about 11 days to train. We have summoned the same players that we used for Zone V championship but this time we are going to add in two foreign based players- Olivier Shumbusho from Lagos, Nigeria and Steff Rukundo Mucyo from Canada to make a total of 18 players,” said Mutokambali
Despite a brilliant performance at the Zone V, Mutokambali noted that the team has a lot to rectify before heading to Mauritius and they are very determined to improve from their 2015 performance in Bamako, Mali when they finished in ninth place.
“After assessing our performance in Zone V, we noted that we are lacking defensively, we made several errors mainly because before the tournament we never had enough time to strengthen our physical fitness which is crucial if you are to defend well,” he added.
“Our aim is to come in the top eight teams where we can qualify for the knock out stages and there we can aim to finish in the top four teams,” Mutokamabli further disclosed.
The competition will also serve as a qualifier for the 2018 FIBA U-17 Basketball World Championships, which will be held in Argentina.
In 2015, Rwanda (boys and girls) competed at AfroBasket as the flag bearer of Zone V and finished in ninth place in both categories. However, the girls didn’t qualify this time round after finishing second behind champions Egypt, who will represent the zone.
18 players summoned for the training camp
1. Gakuru Ndahiro
2. Jonathan Inkindi
3. Landry Irumva
4. Cedric Ishimwe
5. Collin Mananga Kazungu
6. Bruce Mudenge Rutishisha
7. Brown Abuyassin Murengenzi
8. Adelin Ndashimye
9. Elias Ernest Ngoga
10. Theogene Niyibizi
11. Thierry Nkundwa
12. Jonathan Yuhi Rutimirwa
13. Olivier Turatsinze
14. Ibrahim Tuyishimire
15. Jean De Dieu Umuhoza
16. Justin Uwitonze
17. Olivier Shumbusho
18. Steff Mucyo Rukundo
Head Coach: Moise Mutokambali
Assistant coach: Aime Kharim Nkusi