Temps de lecture : 2 mn 🕗
DAKAR (Senegal) – An experienced roster, a savvy head coach and lots of ambition in the bag, that’s how Senegal prepare to attack the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket 2021 in Yaounde, a historic place for the Lionesses.
In theory, few teams can rival Senegal in Group C, which includes Egypt and Guinea, but the eleven-time African champions will need to prove their strength on the basketball court.
Here are some key elements about Senegal.
FIBA Ranking Women: No. 31 in the world; 2nd in Africa
Last participation in the Women’s AfroBasket: 2019 (4-1)
Best result at Women’s AfroBasket: Senegal are Africa’s most successful women’s national team with eleven continental titles (1974, 1977, 1979, 1981, 1984, 1990, 1993, 1997, 2001, 2009 and 2015)
How they qualified for the Women’s AfroBasket 2021: Senegal qualified by virtue of finishing second in the last African Championship.
World: Senegal have played at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in 1975, 1979, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2018.
The Lionesses have featured at the Olympics in 2000, 2008 and 2016.
Youth teams impact: After the 2012 edition of the FIBA U18 Africa Women’s Championship in 2012, Senegal U18 team experienced a relatively stagnation period, but the good news is that their youth teams continue to show signs of revival, which was demonstrated with their participation at the FIBA U18 Africa Women’s Championship last year in Cairo.
Yacine Diop, a valuable member of the current Senegalese squad, is a clear example of the importance of youth basketball programmes. She made her international introduction in 2012 as she sparked her country to the U18 African Championship. In the process, Diop was named in the competition Most Valuable Player.
History/Qualification: Senegal are one of the most regular teams in the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket. The Senegalese have never missed a single FIBA Women’s AfroBasket appearance in the last two decades.
Key Players: Five players who featured at the 2019 edition of the tournament in Dakar have returned for the Yaounde showdown. Those players are: Mame Marie Faye, Oumoul Khairy Sarr, Yacine Diop, Bintou Diame and Lena Niang.
Head coach: Moustapha Gaye is back at the helm of the Lionesses. He replaced his countryman Cheikh Sarr, who guided Senegal to the second place of the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket two years ago in Dakar.
Six years ago, Gaye propelled Senegal to the FIBA Women’s AfroBasket title after beating hosts Cameroon in front of full capacity arena in Yaounde.
Under Gaye, Senegal won two African championships in 2009 and 2015.
Gaye has had stints with Senegal men’s team. He was in charge of Senegal in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China.
Outlook: Given the team’s depth and experience, a Semi-Final slot is the least that can be expected from a team of this caliber.
Senegal, the most successful women’s programme in Africa with eleven continental titles, have been relegated to a second position over the past four years, when Nigeria took the ruler position in the tourmanent.
Senegal may be heading to Yaounde without prolific scorer Astou Traore, but having Mame Marie Sy and Oumoul Khairy Sarr on the squad gives them enough qualify to dream about their twelfth FIBA Women’s AfroBasket title.
Let’s not forget that Yaounde is the place where they lifted their last African Championship title.