Rwanda: Afro-Basketball - "Underdog" Label is an Asset for Rwanda, Sarr Says

The head coach of the Rwanda national basketball team Cheikh Sarr has said that acknowledging the "underdog" label will be an asset for his team as they go into the upcoming final tournament of the Afrobasket competition.

The showpiece will unfold in Kigali from August 24 to September 5, and as hosts, Rwanda will be hoping to perform well.

In an interview with the Rwanda Basketball Federation (Ferwaba) website, Sarr said he is realistic about Rwanda's status going into the competition.

"It is a challenge. As a host country and rated as underdogs by most sports journalists, I am very realistic. Knowing our status and acknowledging it is our asset," he said.

He added "We will work on reinforcing our strengths while making some adjustments to get the best roster. The process is on the go with the preparations and we are focusing on our potential."

"We need to work harder to make the country proud and honored."

Ferwaba has also announced the composition of the technical staff that will assist Sarr in coaching the men's national team head of the Afrobasket.

Henry Mwinuka from Tanzania is the first assistant coach while Yves Murenzi is the second assistant coach with their experience expected to complement Sarr's expertise.

Mwinuka is the head coach of the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) basketball club and has previously won three titles with rivals Patriots while Murenzi has been the U-16 and U-18 men's national team coach for the past three years.

Sarr brings a lot of experience to the team. He is remembered for previous strides in his career, where he took the Senegal men's team to the second round of a FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2014 before achieving the same with the Senegal women's team in 2018 in Zaragoza, Spain.

Last week, the team started a residential training camp, at Elevate Hotel in Nyarutarama.

Rwanda, the tournament host nation, is in Group A alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola, and Cape Verde.

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