Rutatika boosts U-16 team camp ahead of youth Afrobasket

Dick Sano Rutatika earned a scholarship to Senegal-based NBA Africa Academy after being named MVP of the inaugural Junior NBA League in Rwanda last year. / File

DICK Sano Rutatika joins his national teammates in boot camp on Friday as they step up preparations ahead of the upcoming FIBA U16 Men’s African Basketball Championship.

The tournament is scheduled for July 4-14 in Cape Verde.

The team is undergoing intensive training at Amahoro Stadium since last Friday, under the watchful eyes of Yves Murenzi, and they will be looking for an improved performance this time round after finishing sixth at the 2017 edition.

It is the team’s third consecutive appearance in the Youth Afrobasket since the 2015 debut.

Rutatika, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the regional Zone V Championship last month in Kigali, is based at the NBA Africa Academy in Dakar, Senegal.

“The boys are in fantastic mood, and everyone is upbeat to impress and make it to the final squad. Our target in Cape Verde is to perform better than we did in the last two editions,” said head coach Murenzi.

The current provisional squad in camp at La Palisse Hotel has 16 players, who will be trimmed to 12 early next week before jetting off to the island country in the Atlantic Ocean.

In the meantime, Rwanda will host the FIBA U-16 Women’s African Championship in August.

Provisional squad:

Tristan Muhigira, Augustin Niyomugabo, Emmanuel Ntayomba, Herve Ndahimana, Didier Iyamuremye, Brillant Brave Izere Rutsindura, Brian Karenzi, Nubaha Ghislain, Cyusa Ntaganira Emmanuel, Ishema Kevin, Muhizi Ngoga Bonheur, Pacifique Mutabazi, Romain Kizito Murenzi, Elyse Iratubona, Jules Irakoze, Patrick Gakuba and Dick Sano Rutatika.