What Are We Not Doing Right?

9:29 PM Theophilus Mensah 7 Comments

Angola's bench looking dejected during their loss against Turkey at the 2012 London Olympics
Contrary to popular speculations, African teams have been present from day one at both the FIBA World Cup and Olympics basketball competitions; both times being represented by Egypt in 1936 and 1950 respectively. Over the decades, several African countries have followed suit and sent teams to participate in international competitions for all age groups and both sexes.

As exciting as it is to see African teams go on such trips, it cannot be denied that performance by teams over the decades is nothing to be excited about. The best performance by an African team at an international event was when Egypt finished 5th in the first ever FIBA World Cup in 1950. The most recent international competition that featured teams from Africa is the just ended FIBA U19 World Championship in Prague, Czech Republic. Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire represented the continent in Prague after dominating the African Championships in 2012 only to finish at the bottom of the table, both often losing games by as much 30 points.

These perennial losing streaks should have us thinking by now. If basketball has been played for as many decades on the continent as it has in other places, why are our teams still losing by this much and performing poorly at these events? Players, coaches, and national federations have to sit up and figure out a future out of this endless cycle of losing. What do you think we are not doing properly?

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  1. I once posed the same question to our South African Ballers and the answer was...Competition, the players said they need more friendly international games to get used to that style of playing.

    Exchange programs would help out a lot but I'de still like to speak to Senegal & Ivory Coast and find how and why they ended at the bottom of the log at the FIBA U19

  2. This is serious when you come to think of it. I agree with the first comment regarding the issue of more friendly internationally. But many of these countries like Ghana lacks grass root programs. here high school play a full game in 7 mins, that is not helpful at all. Motivation is another. What is the solution then? Coaches and grassroot development, as well as better facilities.

  3. Top athletic talent must play basketball. We also need more top African players in top leagues. This is where scouts come in. I also see many African players succeed as forwards and not guards. We need more top guards.

  4. First thing we need...indoor basketball court
    Second,start playing organized ball at an early stage
    Third, motivate players to develop their craft and coaches shd have time to work with them

  5. am I wrong to say that basketball is not really our thing? yeah maybe there are some states that do well with it but unlike football, it looks like Africans really struggle to dominate basketball at all levels.
    Infrastructure development will surely help but even that I doubt it will aid us to have complete dominance. The stars in NBA and all surely have African background though but it seems just as Caribbeans struggle with football, Africans might really not be so dominant with basketball either. My opinion though. I might be wrong there

  6. Cash. We have to invest in the things we want to succeed in ... in sports, it is almost always cash. Loads of it. When you have cash, you can afford the top coach, the top facility, etc etc, and motivate the top talents to spend their time dreaming and training for a bit of that cash. And you need cash to promote the game. Build programes that will find the talents when they are young. Keep the programmes going long enough to mould them into cash cows themselves. Cash, and I doubt there is enough of that in African bball.

  7. Basketball in Ghana is been dead long time ago. How can a whole country cant even have a multi purpose gym for God sake. It takes a few thousand bucks to put up a basketball gym,yet our leaders sit in thier air condition cars talking nothing but soccer.