In Mali, basketball is a hit

At a time when the players in the men’s national team participate in Afrobasket, hundreds of young people dream of being there one day, or even surpassing them. In Bamako it is full of playing fields.

as reported from Bamako, Kaourou Magassa

On a basketball court in central Bamako, dozens of teenagers compete in a dunk competition. When Tiemoko Berthé arrived, their coach, some thirty of them, gathered to listen to his instructions: “At the level of the block, receiving the ball with both hands, with both legs. Now alternating support. “

the basketball is one of the few sports where Mali has its advantage in international competitions. Several continental titles were collected in all categories of young people. Businesses which makes the headlines and which in the long run increases the number of licensees within the discipline.

It can be seen at the Bamako reference center. All categories together, almost 150 young people play basketball. And thousands, nationally. “We can find more than sixty centers in Bamako. There is a lot of training at the federal level to train coaches. We have the videos, the techniques on how to train children. We help each other in this way, and that’s why basketball is so popular, ”the coach explains.

Dreams of competitions A passion shared by girls and boys without distinction. “In Mali, we think that basketball is feminine because the girls dominate in the small categories more than the boys. Since all boys tend to go to football, it is after football that they try to convert to basketball “, explains Cheick Oumar Fofana, center manager.

14, Fatoumata Diarra, from a modest family, is very diligent. The the recent successes of their seniors in Africa and the World Cup surpasses his motivation. “My hope is to go to the national team, travel, to go to the NBA to play there. But also to make a lot of money on all that, ”she testifies.

For her, as for many comrades in the field, sport is a way out of an uncertain state.

► To read also: Afrobasket 2021: a 30th edition more open than ever


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