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Ivan-Almeida-10-07-2013
10/07/2013
News
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CVP - Ivan Almeida in limbo for Cape Verde

PRAIA (AfroBasket) - Ivan Almeida's willingness to represent his native Cape Verde at this summer's AfroBasket is no guarantee that he will take part in the competition.

In the past three months, Almeida's career has reached levels that his country's basketball federation (FCBB) has not adjusted yet.

The 24-year-old went from being named MVP of the Portuguese League regular season to signing for French Pro B team Lille, before he gave up on entering the 2013 NBA Draft.

Last May, FCBB notified Almeida to join Cape Verde's preliminary squad for the 2013 AfroBasket, which the player says he agreed to.

However, last month, Almeida left Portuguese club Vitoria de Guimaraes and joined Lille, which means the FCBB had to negotiate his release with his new employer.

Lille is expected to start the pre-season on 5 August, two weeks before the AfroBasket, making Almeida a late arrival.

The 1.99m forward says his new head coach agrees with his presence with the national team, but "as we speak (Tuesday 9 July), my new club has not received any notification from the Cape Verde Basketball Federation," he told FIBA.com.

Cape Verde's remarkable third-place finish at the 2007 AfroBasket is well alive in the islanders' memories. And although they came in 13th in the 16-team continental championship two years later, this summer's competition - to be staged in Ivory Coast capital city of Abidjan - is seen in the archipelago as a chance to repeat or do better than their achievement six years ago.

The national team coached by Nigerian-born Alex Nwora is expected to start their AfroBasket preparations on 15 July, but for Almeida, their best best player of the moment, it is all about individual workout and keeping his fitness while he enjoys the presence of his family.

"I have no idea what is the national team's preparation programme," he said.

"I have not heard anything from the federation since I arrived in Cape Verde a few weeks ago."

Cape Verde has been drawn in Group C of the tournament alongside Angola, Mozambique and Central African Republic.

The Abidjan showdown is a qualifier tournament for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup to be staged in Spain.

FIBA