Who are the young guns chasing stardom at the African Qualifiers?
ABIDJAN (Cote d'Ivoire) - They made their names at youth tournaments across Africa, now they chase chances on a much bigger stage.
When the final window of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 African Qualifiers gets underway in a few weeks time, three well known emerging stars will try to build on their potential.
If all goes according to plan, they will debut for their countries' men's teams.
FIBA.basketball looks at three youngsters, who have the potential to make a name for themselves in the upcoming final window.
Karim Hatem Elgizawy (EGYPT)
The 18-year-old point guard was a part of his country's U18 continental championship-winning team last year in Madagascar.
While his stats were not spectacular in Madagascar, he played solid minutes and was productive. Elgizawy's selection to the senior team is an indication of his potential.
Also, with Egypt trying to secure qualification for the World Cup Group F, the youngster is unlikely to get a lot of minutes, and he'll be there to shadow the likes of experienced point guard and Al Ahly teammate Amr El Gendy.
Alpha Kabinet Kaba (Guinea)
Kaba has made his way up the youth ranks in the West African nation's youth set-up.
The Seydou Legacy Athletique Club (SLAC) player participated in two junior continental championships (2019-2022).
His best performances were in the group stages of the 2019 FIBA U16 African Championships in Cape Verde, where he scored 16 points against Rwanda and 11 points against Mali.
While at the youth tournament in Madagascar last year, he put up eight points and 10 rebounds in the Quarter-Final against the tournament hosts and losing finalists.
On a good outing, Kabinet has shown he can deliver good numbers, and as he matures, he will hopefully become consistent. His selection to the senior team ahead of the closing qualifying window is a sign of the young guard's talent.
Guinea have a 1-6 record in their World Cup qualifying Group E, meaning their chances of progressing to global showpiece are slim. This final qualifying window would be a good opportunity for Guinea to try out some young players for future tournaments.
Mara Mambourou (Guinea)
The 1.94m (6ft 4in) forward showed during the 2020 FIBA U18 Championships in Egypt that he has a lot of upside.
In that tournament, he dropped 28 points against Egypt and 23 points against Senegal in the group stages.
Mambourou's transition to the senior level has not been as smooth. His minutes during the 2021 AfroBasket were significantly less, and his production was as well.
At these Qualifiers, Mambourou will have another chance to test himself against some of Africa's best, and who knows, he could be another building block for Guinea's future.