Mamoutuo Kane: ''Mali making the podium in Spain top on my mind''
BAMAKO (Mali) - Mali Head Coach Mamoutou Kane will be returning to the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup with a mission to reach a podium place on his mind.
The 2022 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup draw has placed the 2017 FIBA U16 African champions with familiar foes Team USA, Slovenia and a team from the Asian region - yet to be determined.
"I'M A WINNER. IT TOUCHES ME TO PARTICIPATE IN A COMPETITION AND NOT HAVE MEDALS."
"We are delighted to finally find out our opponents in this great competition of this category so we are preparing accordingly," Kane said.
Back in 2018, Mali slumped 97-40 in their second Group Phase game to the USA. This result expectedly should leave Mali scared but Coach Kane says he is not shaken by that.
"We are used to playing against the USA in all the world competitions in which we participated. Slovenia and team from the Asia region are playable also. I think we have our chance to play in this pool," Kane stated and wondered why Mali is in the same pool as team USA a second time in a row.
"Mali is first in Africa, we play team USA. We are second, we still play team USA in the same pool. I don't understand," Kane stressed.
Though the best position Mali has reached is a 12th-place finish in 2018, Coach Kane is confident there will be something different in 2022.
"You know, I'm a winner. It touches me to participate in a competition and not have medals but when all the conditions are not met we can only see the facts."
Kane, who rose from the position of an assistant coach to his present position, when asked what the secret of Mali's youth basketball development has been, noted that only participation and the stability of basketball at the level has remained a major factor and concludes by stating that his team will keep in mind the task ahead and watch closely teams in the Group C.
The tournament will be played in Malaga, Spain from July 2-10, 2022.