31 August, 2019
15 September
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Senegal new coach Gaye names twin towers Tacko and Youssoupha Fall for training camp

DAKAR (Senegal) - Less than 24 hours after his appointment as Senegal's head coach, Moustapha Gaye announced a 24-man preliminary for the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 in China.

While the new coach kept the core of the team that helped Senegal qualify for their second straight FIBA Basketball World Cup on the back of a 10-2 mark in the African Qualifiers, he added a number of new faces, including seven-footers Tacko Fall and Yossoupha Fall and promising stars Amar Sylla (17) and Birame Faye (19).

Senegal's 24-player preliminary squad for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019
Adama Louis Adams Babacar Diallo Gorgui Dieng Moise Diame
Mamadou Lamine Diop Pape Moustapha Diop Tacko Fall Youssoupha Fall
Birame Faye Ibrahima Fall Faye Mouhammad Faye Birahim Gaye
Papa Abdou Karim Kebe Clevin Hannah Cheikh Mbodj Antoine Mendy
Alkaly Mamadou Ndour Maurice Ndour Thierno Niang Hamady Ndiaye
Youssoupha Ndoye Omar Sylla Djibril Thiam Babacar Toure

Faye and Sylla have recently featured at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2019, averaging a combined 31 points and 19 rebounds per game.

If 2.31m (7ft7in) Tacko and 2.20m (7ft3in) Youssoupha Fall, make it to Senegal's final roster, the Western Africans might be one of - if not - the tallest teams in FIBA's flagship 32-nation tournament in China.

After going undrafted at last month's NBA Draft, Tacko Fall signed for the Boston Celtics while, Youssoupha Fall had a terrific season with SIG Strasbourg in France's Pro A. 

Before the Senegalese open their Group H campaign in Dongguan against Canada, Lithuania and Australia, they will play a number of warm-up games, including one against Turkey on August 12th in Istanbul. 

Meanwhile, the appointment of Gaye came as a surprise with just a month to the World Cup. 

The 55-year old replaced Abdourahmane Ndiaye who was announced over the weekend but eventually failed to agree terms with the basketball governing body in Senegal. The Lions had been without a coach since qualifying back in February. 

Senegal featured at the 2014 edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup and finished 16th, managing two wins over Puerto Rico and Croatia. They will be looking to improve this placing when they head out to China in the coming weeks. 

The Lions were drawn in a very tough Group H along with 2010 bronze medalists Lithuania, Canada and Australia and clearly have their work cut out. 

The newly appointed Gaye is renowned around women's basketball circles having won the FIBA Women's AfroBasket in 2009 and 2015 with Senegal, qualified them to the FIBA Women's World Cup 2010 and was also in charge at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

He is no stranger to FIBA World Cups and high level international competitions. 

Senegal is among the five nations that will represent Africa at the prestigious 18th edition of the FIBA Basketball World Cup. The others include perennial participants Angola, Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria and Tunisia.