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Senegal’s Ndoye: ''World Cup qualification is my greatest achievement''
ABIDJAN (Cote d’Ivoire) – Youssoupha Ndoye has been one of the most consistent players for Senegal in their run to their fifth FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 qualification.
He is an introvert, and he’s not one to hold long discussions but where he does the talking most is on the court.
The 2,11m (6ft11in) center averaged 12.3points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 assist in the first ten games of the African Qualifiers.
"I WANT MY FAMILY TO BE PROUD OF ME AND OF COURSE THAT CAN ONLY HAPPEN I CONTINUE THESE GREAT DISPLAYS FOR SENEGAL"
And on Friday night he was huge once again. Ndoye was in scintillating shape for "The Lions of Teranga" scoring a game high 18 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists as Senegal cruised past Rwanda 81-41 to lock down their spot for the China 2019 Showpiece.
"It’s always incredible playing for Senegal. My entire life I’ve wanted to be a basketballer and to be able to put on the national team jersey is a great feeling. That’s why I always try to rise up to the occasion," he said to FIBA.basketball.
Ndoye went on saying: “We wanted to qualify for the first-ever 32-nation World Cup and now that we’ve done this, I’m very happy. Being part of this experience is very important because right now the World Cup qualification is my greatest achievement.
''The Teranga Lion'' roars and plays every game like it’s his last with his atrocious dunks now commonplace in Senegal’s games. His passion and desire for success stems from his difficult childhood in the streets of Dakar.
💬 [Portrait] Youssou Ndoye : un MVP peut en cacher un autre.— BeBasket (@Be_BasketFr) February 13, 2019
👉 L'incroyable ascension du pivot sénégalais de la JL Bourg : de l'adolescent qui mentait à sa mère pour échapper à l'entraînement de basket jusqu'au joueur n°1 de Jeep ÉLITE à l'évaluation.
➡ https://t.co/FLIivBz3N5 pic.twitter.com/q1NOfjadu3
"We weren’t rich. Growing up things were very difficult but I admired the way my parents worked hard and did all the best they could to ensure that I and my siblings had a good life.
Recalling his first basketball days, Ndoye said: "Along the years I have grown up with that mentality knowing that if I work hard, dedicate time to what I love, I’ll be successful. I hate losing and I’m glad my parents were able to inculcate this in me. I think that’s probably my greatest asset – my desire to always want to surpass myself."
"I want my family to be proud of me and of course that can only happen if I continue these great displays for Senegal," the Dakar native added.
The player on the books of JL Bourg in the French Pro A picked up the basketball virus very young. His mother Khadija Ndoye is a former Senegal international.
With a fifth World Cup presence now certain, Ndoye hopes he can inspire young basketballers in his country to take up the sport seriously
“I know many children will start training more knowing that it is something they too can achieve. Of course we know this is huge for our country.
"Perhaps more persons will want to invest in the sport now and we will be giving Senegal significant exposure, which is important for development."
"For us the players, we are ambassadors of our country. We’ll be going to China to represent Senegal with great honour. We want to win games and go the furthest possible. It’s not going to be a tourism trip and everyone within the team knows this," Ndoye concluded.