Patriots basketball club have edged closer to securing the signature of England-based center Prince Ibeh Chinenye ahead of the upcoming inaugural season of the Basketball Africa League - BAL.
Set to be played from May 16 through 30, Rwanda was confirmed last month as the host country for the much-anticipated tournament, the first of its kind to be run by the NBA outside North America.
According to Patriots Vice President, Jose Edouard Munyangaju, the club and player are close to agreeing on personal terms in a view of beefing up the team before the continental showpiece.
"We are in advance talks with Chinenye, and other players - including Axel Mpoyo. They are good players, their presence would boost our chances of reaching far in the competition," he said.
Speaking to Weekend Sport on Thursday, Munyangaju also revealed that the club had reached deals with point guard Jean Jacques Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, star shooting guard Kenneth Gasana and center Elie Kaje.
Kenyan Oluoch to coach Patriots
Meanwhile, Kenya-born tactician guide Bernard 'Ben' Oluoch will be in charge of Patriots during the BAL 2021 finals tournament, and will be assisted by Burundian Olivier Ndayiragije.
The appointment of Oluoch follows the departure of American Dean Murray who guided the club to their third consecutive domestic league title last October.
Each club participating in the BAL regular season is restricted to having a maximum of four foreign players, with at least eight members of the roster being local players. Furthermore, two out of four foreign players have to be from an African country.
The 12-team competition will have a total of 26 games, all played at the icon Kigali Arena.
Patriots are waiting for approval from the Ministry of Sports before kicking off training.
Roster of home-based players ready for training:
Aristide Mugabe, Sedar Sagamba, Dieudonne Ndizeye Ndayisaba, Steven Havungintwari, Guibert Nijimbere, Elie Kaje, Jean-Jacques Wilson Nshobozwabyosenumukiza, Jean-Paul Ndoli, Bush Wamukota, Junior Kasongo, Joseph Bukuru, Didier Ishimwe, Sano Gasana and Leonard Hitayezu.