BAMAKO (Mali) – Mali will keep together most of the team that won their first-ever FIBA U18 African Championship last summer as they shoot for their best-ever showing at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup in the coming weeks in Heraklion – led by star guard Siriman Kanoute.
The playmaker was the MVP of the U18 African tournament last summer, averaging 14.3 points, 5.4 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 steals. He is one of 11 players in the 15-player preliminary squad who claimed the continental title in 2018 and are returning for head coach Alhadji Dicko.
Mali’s preliminary roster for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019
|Oumar Ballo||Abdramane Camara||Abdoul Karim Coulibaly||Bourama Coulibaly|
|Moubarrag Diabate||Martin Diakite||Aboudou Diarra||Aboubacar Djire|
|Fousseyni Drame||Hassan Drame||Gaoussou Cheikh Fofana||Siriman Kanoute|
|Mohamed Keita||Modibo Sanogo||Mohamed Sidibe|
Also back for Mali’s second straight U19 World Cup will be other U18 main pillars such as Abdoul Karim Coulibaly, Martin Diakite, Fousseyni Drame and Hassan Drame, who all averaged in double figures at the U18 African tournament, as well as Oumar Ballo, who averaged 8.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. Diakite for his part will be playing in his second U19 World Cup after collecting 3.3 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists at Cairo 2017.
Amadou Toure is the only player from the U18 team that is not in the preliminary player pool.
Mali will be appearing at the U19 World Cup for a third time after finishing 15th in 2007 and 16th in 2017. Dicko’s team will start the 2019 edition against Latvia on June 29 before taking on Canada a day later and finishing off Group B play versus Australia on July 2.