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Ivory Coast - Alphonse Bilé
Place of birth: Abidjan (CIV)
Height: 1.75 m
Weight: 72 kg
Position: Point guard
Last summer’s closing ceremony of the Africa Championship was a very poignant moment for Alphonso Bilé. Not only as General Secretary of FIBA Africa was he pleased the local Libyan organisation did a pretty good job for what was the 25th Africa Championship, but also because he was moved by his dearly beloved Côte d’Ivoire making it to the final game. This had never happened since 1985 and they consequently granted themselves a trip to the World Championship, which the “Elephants” were unable to do since 1986.
Alphonse Bilé has done everything that could be done with, and for, Côte d’Ivoire. In the 1970’s and the early 1980’s, Bilé, was successfully attending the medical school of the Abidjan University and was the playmaker and the leader of the Elephants. At the time, Côte d’Ivoire was already a country which had a long tradition of basketball. It had a golden generation and with Doctor Bilé at the helm, they won their first ever Africa Championship in 1981, after finishing as runner-ups in 1978 and 1980.
In 1982 he participated in the 1982 World Championship in Columbia and though his country was unable to win any of the seven games they played, Bilé proved against USSR in particular that he was a world-class player. He would become a pretty good coach too, since he led Côte d’Ivoire to another Africa Championship title in 1985 - this time from the bench.
He then became the president of his national federation and, in 2001, at the age of 51, he was elected General Secretary of FIBA Africa - a tenure that was renewed in 2006. Since that moment, he has been working hard to defend and modernize African basketball.