Defending champions Rwanda's men and women basketball teams leave today for Dar es Salaam, Tanzania ahead of the Zone V qualifiers which begin on Monday.
Confirmed participating countries in this year's championships include Egypt, Kenya, hosts Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Somalia, who have brought only the men's team full of professional and college players from North America, AustThe teams which are made up of new and old guards depart for the week-long competition this afternoon aboard RwandAir at 4:00pm.
The men's team head coach Moise Mutokambali, who will be assisted by Espoir's coach Jean Bahufite told Saturday Sport yesterday that the mission remains unchanged.
"We have had good preparations and the players have showed great determination and are eager to win. We want to defend our title and we must accomplish this mission," promised Mutokambali.
The 12-man team is comprised of four professional players namely Daniel Primo Rugamba (Seattle Community College), Bradley Cameron Curtis (Mississipi Gulf Coast College), Kenneth Gasana (Ass Charab Al Hoaciema) and France-based Thierry Sukusuku who will be making his first appearence.
The rest of the members of the squad feature in the local league.
The women's team head coach Charles Mbazumutima too believes his team will defend their title. "We are going for nothing less than the title," he vowed.
The team has only two professional players, namely Henderson Tiena Monay (Angola) and Letitia Mahoro), who plays in the USA.
The pair were also part of the squad that won the event in 2011. Mahoro joined the team yesterday while Henderson will link up with the team in Dar-es Salaam on Sunday.
Confirmed participating countries include Egypt, Kenya, Hosts Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and Somalia who have brought only the men's team.
Meanwhile, Somalia has beefed their squad with professional and college players from North America, Australia and Europe and are very promising to achieve success in this tournament.
Men: Aboubakar Barame, Bradley Cameron Curtis, Gasana Kenneth Herbert, Jean Louis Habineza, Lionnel Hakizimana, Kami Kabange, Gedega Kajeguhakwa Bunene, Aristide Mugabe, Olivier Muhizi, Primo Daniel Rugamba, Olivier Shyaka and Thierry Sukusuku.
Women: Jovithe Kabarere, Jeanne Yamfashije, Rosine Micomyiza, Scolastique Mukandayisenga, Cecile Nzaramba, Aisha Kamana, Gisele Umutoni, Joselyne Munyaneza, Yvonne Ikirezi, Charlotte Umugwaneza, Laetitia Mahoro and Henderson Tiena Monay.