History made: Cabo Verde and South Sudan among African Five at Basketball World Cup

2023 FIBA basketball World Cup 2023 African qualifiers, Kigali Arena. [Image source: FIBA]

The 15-month-long search for five qualifying teams to represent Africa in the FIBA World Cup 2023 has ended with Cabo Verde, South Sudan, Angola, Egypt and Ivory Coast making the list.

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Africa now has its five teams confirmed for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, taking place between August 25 and September 10.

Following a weekend of intense qualifying game action, with electrifying basketball action in Luanda and Alexandria, Cabo Verde and South Sudan will make their World Cup debuts

With a population of about 572,000, Cabo Verde made history by becoming the smallest country ever to qualify for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The Blue Sharks of Cabo Verde held down Ivory Coast 79-64, securing their place in the tournament, which Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines will co-host.

The qualification of Cabo Verde reaffirms the fast-growing popularity of basketball in Africa, even among small nations.

According to Betinho Gomes, the Cape Verde team forward, their qualification shows they “want to be a sign of inspiration for future generations of Cape Verdeans.”

“It’s amazing we just made history. We fought so hard to be here,” he said to FIBA.

Like the Blue Sharks, South Sudan also made history on Friday, February 24, after beating Senegal 83-75 and becoming the first African nation to qualify at their first attempt.

Coached by former NBA forward and now head coach and president of the South Sudanese Federation, Luol Deng, the South Sudanese team has recorded impressive wins in the African Qualifiers.

Through 12 games played in the qualifiers window, the squad has won 11, only losing to Senegal in August 2022.

South Sudan trounced Egypt 97-77 on Sunday in their last game, reaffirming their well-deserved spot in the qualifiers’ list.

Besides South Sudan and Cabo Verde, other African teams participating in the world cup include Ivory Coast, Angola and Egypt.

The five teams have been narrowed down from 16 teams that compete in the African league in a journey that took 15 months, from November 2021 to February 2023.

Thirty-two men’s national teams drawn from different regions globally will participate in the World Cup, which will also be used to allocate quota berths for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

bird story agency