Everything you need to know about FIBA AfroBasket 2021 – FIBA AfroBasket 2021
KIGALI (Rwanda) – The highly anticipated FIBA AfroBasket 2021 has finally arrived as sixteen national teams from across Africa will fight for the right to be crowned champions of the continent.
In a year when FIBA Africa turns 60, there will be joy, there will be tears, and most importantly, there will be the celebration of the African Basketball Festival in Kigali, Rwanda.
From Tuesday August 24 to Sunday September 5, all eyes will be on the magnificent Kigali Arena.
FIBA.basketball brings you everything you need to know about FIBA AfroBasket 2021.
The sixteen teams were divided into four groups of four each as follows:
Group A: Rwanda (host), Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Green cap
Group B: Tunisia, Central African Republic, Egypt and Guinea
Group C: Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Kenya and mali
Group D: Senegal, Cameroon, south sudan and Uganda
Click here for the FIBA AfroBasket 2021 schedule.
The 24 group stage matches will be played from August 24-29. The winners of each group will automatically advance to the quarter-finals while the teams that finish second and third will compete for the remaining four places in the last eight. The teams that finish last in their group will be eliminated.
Defending champions Tunisia will seek to become the first team to retain the AfroBasket crown since Angola held the trophy for six consecutive editions of the tournament from 1999 to 2009.
Tunisia overtook Angola in the latest FIBA World Rankings to become the Team n°2 in Africa behind Nigeria.
Tunisia won their second AfroBasket in 2017
The North African side have been impressive over the past few years, and it’s no surprise that Tunisia, who won their first African title in 2011, qualified for the Kigali showdown unbeaten in six games.
THE NEW ERA OF AFROBASKET
Since the establishment of FIBA’s new competition system in November 2017, AfroBasket has evolved from a biennial tournament to a quadrennial tournament, making FIBA AfroBasket 2021 the first of the new era.
WHERE AND HOW TO WATCH FIBA AFROBASKET 2021
The Rwanda Basketball Federation (FERWANDA) recently announced that spectators will be allowed inside the arena as long as they follow the COVID-19 protocols implemented.
Livebasketball.tv subscribers only ( www.livebasketball.tv/home ) will show all FIBA AfroBasket 2021 matches. Other broadcasters include StarTimes, beIN SPORTS and Canal Plus. Most of the 16 countries in the tournament will also broadcast the matches of their national teams.
SOUTH SUDAN, KENYA, RWANDA AND UGANDA
It is the first time in the history of AfroBasket that four East African countries participate in the same edition of the African Championship.
South Sudan, Africa’s newest nation, which became independent in 2011, is the only debutant in this year’s inaugural FIBA Africa basketball tournament. They qualified second in Group D of the Qualifiers with a score of 3-3.
After a successful FIBA AfroCan 2019, where they finished second, Kenya qualified for the AfroBasket final round for the first time since 1993 when they hosted the tournament in Kigali, making Rwanda the first East African country to host the tournament in nearly three decades. .
Joining the East African contingent are Uganda, who returned to the tournament for the third consecutive time.
Australian-born Liz Mills is set to become the first female head coach in FIBA AfroBasket history. Mills previously served as an assistant coach for Zambia. She had a brief stint in Cameroon’s coaching staff during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers before being named Kenya’s head coach in the second round of the FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers 2021 in February.
NBA INFLUENCE AT AFROBASKET 2021
A number of players participating in this year’s AfroBasket have, have had, or will appear in the NBA.
Senegalese Gorgui Dieng, who played last season for the San Antonio Spurs, recently signed for the Atlanta Hawks. Dieng, a two-time AfroBasket participant, is on his way to his eighth NBA season.
Free agent Salah Mejri of Tunisia played in the NBA for four seasons, sporting the Dallas Mavericks jersey.
Ishmail Wainright, who played a major role for Uganda throughout the Qualifiers, recently signed a two-year contract with the Toronto Raptors.
Cape Verde’s Walter ‘Edy’ Tavares played for the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers, with stints in the NBA G-League. The seven-footer currently plays for Europe and Spanish powerhouse Real Madrid.
Matthew Costello from Ivory Coast played for Spurs under a contract with Austin Spurs.
THE COACHES WHO WON THE AFROBASKET
Only one of the 16 head coaches of AfroBasket 2021 has won the African champion trophy.
Democratic Republic of Congo playmaker Mathias Eckhoff was part of the technical bench of AfroBasket 2015 champions Nigeria.
Mathias Eckhoff (right) is seen with former Nigeria head coach Will Voigt
The list of assistant coaches in the Kigali showdown who have won the AfroBasket title include Tunisians Oualid Zrida and Rzig Amin (the latter won the trophy as a player in 2011), Angolan duo Anibal Moreira and Miguel Lutonda (both won the title as players).
Let the Battle of Kigali 2021 begin.