PATRIOTS Basketball Club have refuted reports that Rwandan international Hamza Ruhezamihigo has joined the club for the 2017/2018 season.
The point-guard was part of Patriots’ roaster that finished second at the just concluded FIBA Africa Zone V Club Championships in Kampala, Uganda, which fueled speculation that he has signed for the league playoffs champions.
However, Patriots head Coach Henry Mwinuke, told Times Sport on Wednesday that reports of Ruhezamihigo’s signing are false.
“We have not signed him (Ruhezamihigo), we never even attempted to. He was with us in Kampala as a support player only for Zone V tournament, not as a new signing for the club. Any source suggesting otherwise is misleading,” the Tanzanian-born trainer said.
Mwinuke added that, “Ruhezamihigo still has a contract to honour in Canada. After he is through with what he is here for, which is none of our business, he will go back.”
The 2016 local league champions, Patriots, alongside APR women’s basketball team, represented Rwanda at the annual regional championship that run from October 1 to 7.
In addition to Ruhezemihigo, Patriots’ 13-man squad for the regional championships included other players from rivals clubs, like; Espoir captain Olivier Shyaka and Rwanda Energy Group’s centre Kami Kabange. Patriots lost 59-85 to Uganda’s City Oilers in the final. The Rwandan team won 4 games and lost 2, both defeats against City Oilers, in the group stage and final.
Commenting about the performance in Kampala, Mwinuke said, “We did the best we could, my boys gave it their all, individually and collectively. City Oilers were totally better than us and deserved the title, home advantage also favoured them.”
The week-long East Africa’s flagship showpiece was retained by City Oilers (Uganda) in men’s category and KPA of Kenya in women’s fray.
Both teams qualified to represent the region at the 2018 FIBA Africa Club Championship set for December in Casablanca, Morocco.