18 - 26
July 2015
6 Djeneba N'DIAYE (Mali)
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N'Diaye dreaming of FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup

VIDNOE (2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship) - When Djeneba N'Diaye scans the horizon for potential career landmarks, the prospect of pulling on a Mali vest at a FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup is one of the most alluring.

When the talented guard stepped out in Vidnoe on the first day of the 2015 FIBA U19 Women's World Championship, it marked her third participation at a global youth level, having played at the 2012 and 2014 editions of the U17 Women's Worlds.

And N'Diaye is eager to one day translate that into major tournament minutes at the senior level.

"Playing against so many different teams has allowed me to gain a lot of experience to improve my level of play," she mused.

"It is something that will hopefully help me in the future.

"I want to play at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup. - N'Diaye

N'Diaye has already helped Mali to cause a stir after she was a driving force in her country beating Brazil in Amsterdam in 2012 and then famously beating European opposition in the shape of Italy last year in Klatovy.

"It is a huge source of pride to think that we beat those teams as they had more means [in terms of more talent and better players] at their disposal than we did," she stressed.

Trying to replicate those kind of headline successes is part of the remit in Russia and Mali certainly gave Canada a fright in their opening contest, while going hard for three quarters against Belgium in their second game ahead of a final quarter collapse.

"We just played bad defense and we rushed too much on offense against Belgium," she confessed.

"We didn't take good care of the ball and wanted to win, but we didn't manage the end of the game well.

As for her hopes for Mali, N'Diaye sets the bar where she believes everyone else does.

"Just like with every other team, our ultimate goal is to win a title," she reasoned.

"If we can't achieve that, then we want to achieve the best result possible.

"I would want us to finish in the top eight."

Following Monday's off day, Mali will take on France in their final Group C game on Tuesday.