United States based youngster Bella Murekatete has joined the national U18 girls’ team in residential camp as head coach Charles Mushumba targets the FIBA Africa Zone V title.
The regional tourney will start on June 17 and run through June 22 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Murekatete who was part of the national U16 team that competed at the 2015 FIBA Africa Under-16 Championship in Antananarivo, Madagascar, currently plays for Genesis Preparatory Academy in Richmond, Virginia.
At the biennial event in Dar, Rwanda will compete in both the 5*5 and 3*3 categories.
The three-on-three basketball will be contested by youth teams from four countries; Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda while the five-on-five will see three countries, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, battling for the top honors.
A total 15 players are in boot camp for intensive preparations and according to coach Mushumba, his team having participated in the national basketball championship boosted the players’ confidence and combative spirit, which will be key in their quest for the regional title.
“The residential camp is going pretty well, apart from a number of players who are recovering from minor injuries. The team has been together for long and at this time, it’s a matter of building a winning mentality and ensuring we all have a shared goal,” Mushumba said.
Last year, the very team participated in the FIBA U16 Zone V championships in Mombasa, Kenya, where they finished second to win silver, behind champions Egypt.
“The arrival of Murekatete is such a huge boost to the team. She is a very talented player looking at his short career history and, I believe she will help us a lot,” he added
While in FIBA Africa Under-16 Championship in 2015, Murekatete was awarded as the tournament’s best rebounder, with a total 22 rebounds.
She was also named on the five-player team of the tournament.
Prior to departing for Dar es Salaam, the youthful side is set for a final warm-up match against APR women’s basketball club this Wednesday at Amahoro stadium.
Bella Murekatete, Hope Butera, Patience Butera, Stella Ndahiro Ineza, Joyeuse Sifa Ineza, Faustine Mwizerwa, Ange Umurangamirwa, Chance Mpogazi Uwase, Manishimwe Izadufasha, Denyse Mwiseneza, Clementine Uwimana, Deborah Iryimanivuze, Lea Mutarutwa, Benigne Uwera and Faith Butera.