In a significant move for Rwanda Energy Group (REG) women's basketball team, Tiffany Mitchell, a star player from the WNBA, has been signed on a short-term deal. Mitchell, known for her versatility as a combo guard with the Minnesota Lynx, is set to play in the 2023 FIBA Africa Women's Basketball Africa League (AWBL) in Cairo from Dec. 11-19.
Mitchell, 29, brings a wealth of experience to the team, having previously played for Galatasaray in the Euro Cup and the Turkish Basketball League. She is set to arrive in Rwanda on Dec. 2, as reported by Damas Sikubwabo of Times Sport. This strategic acquisition by REG follows their recent signing of Nia Clouden, a point guard from the Los Angeles Sparks.
The addition of Mitchell and Clouden marks a significant reinforcement of REG's roster ahead of the continental tournament, which will feature various top teams from Africa. Mitchell's basketball journey began at the collegiate level with the South Carolina Gamecocks, where she earned the title of two-time SEC Player of the Year. Her international experience includes stints in leagues across Russia, Turkey, Israel and Australia.
Clouden, 23, who was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2022 WNBA draft, played college basketball at Michigan State. Her signing is part of REG's efforts to strengthen their team for the AWBL. REG head coach Esperance Mukaneza confirmed Clouden's arrival and her first training session with the team.
REG, currently undergoing intensive preparations, has high hopes for the upcoming tournament. Mukaneza believes that with the acquisition of Tiffany Mitchell and Nia Clouden, the team has the potential to reach the medal brackets in Cairo. REG earned their spot in the AWBL after reaching the final of the 2023 Zone Five Women’s championship, despite a loss to Kenya Ports Authority (KPA).