30th April, 2012
Ivory Coast Basketball Federation, ICBF, have turned to a familiar name in an attempt to return to the summit of African basketball.
French side Paris Levallois Coach, Christophe Denis, whose father was on the technical staff 26 years ago when Ivory Coast last won the Afrobasket, has been put in charge of the senior national team, The Elephants.
Speaking on his immediate target, Denis said: ““For sure, what we want as the host nation is to win the tournament (2013 Afrobasket).
“This is our goal.”
“We need to focus on motivating our players. As the host nation, we will do our best to win Afrobasket 2013.”
As for how long Denis runs the team, he said: “Initially, I have signed a contract for the Afrobasket and to qualify the team to Spain 2014.
“As the federation wants to keep consistency in the coaching staff, we may stay longer.”
The Ivory Coast last won an Afrobasket title in 1985 with an 84-73 triumph over Angola.
Ivory Coast also have three silver medals (1978, 1980 and 2009) in their history.
“Qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Spain is equally one of our objectives.”
Ivory Coast are 37th in the FIBA World Rankings, just below Senegal, and fourth in Africa rankings. Angola are top, followed by Nigeria.