Mali’s Doumbia out to make history in Spain

As preparations for the Fiba U17 Women’s world championship intensifies, Mali’s Rokia Doumbia has stated her readiness to make Mali proud at the competition.

Doumbia was crowned MVP as she led Mali to emerge champions at the 2015 Fiba Africa U16 Women’s Championship in Madagascar.

The Malian player who is reaping the rewards of playing in the United States at Central Park Christian School in Birmingham, Alabama spoke on how playing in the US is helping her game.

“Playing at this level is a very good experience for me and it was amazing to help my team claim a national team tournament trophy,” she said.

The 2016 Fiba U17 championship is slated to start on the 23rd of June in Spain and the young Malian is focused on making her country proud.

“No matter who will stand before us, my team-mates and I will fight to uplift the name of our country. I am optimistic that Mali will make great impact at this tournament and we will try all our best to advance to the Final Phase. Then, we can maybe make history in this tournament.”

Mali’s national federation has high hopes and expectations for Doumbia.

“We have started our preparations with local players. The good news is that Rokia Doumbia will join us on 5 June in Bamako,” said Mamadou Boubel Konate, the assistant to Mali’s national technical director.

“She was one of our key players at last year’s FIBA Africa U16 Women’s Championship and we are looking forward to benefiting from what she has learned and achieved by playing high school basketball in the USA.”

Mali certainly caused a stir when they beat Brazil in the Netherlands four years ago and then made even more of a splash when they took down European opposition in the shape of Italy at the last edition of the tournament in Czech Republic.

This time around they have been drawn in Group D with Brazil, Portugal and Spain.

FIBA/Tahir