Only two professional players will join the women basketball national team for the upcoming Zone V qualifiers which will be held between January 21-27 in Dar-es Salaam, Tanzania.
The team's head coach Charles Mbazumutima said the decision to include just two foreign-based players was to give more locally based players a chance to play international matches.
The two pros are Henderson Tiena Monay (Angola) and Letitia Mahoro, who plays in the USA. The two other professionals, who had initially been called up, Williams Angelica Monique (USA), and Sabine Mugeni (France) have been dropped.
According to the coach, Mahoro, who played a big part when Rwanda won the event in 2011, will join the team on January 18, while Henderson will link up with the team in Dar-es Salaam on 21st.
"I don't mind them (the two players) joining us on a later date since they are playing for their clubs and I don't have a problem as far their fitness is concerned," Mbazumutima told Times Sport on Tuesday from the team's training camp at the National University of Rwanda in Huye.
He added, "Having few professionals on the team will not only increase chances of local players playing for their country at the highest level but will also inspire the younger players to want to represent their country."
The team played two training matches against Nyanza, losing one 53-30, while the other ended in a draw 29-29. Mbazumutima will be assisted by Charles Mushumba.
The team is scheduled to travel to Dar-es Salaam on January 19 for the competition that will attract 13 countries including Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan and hosts Tanzania.