Former star Konate confident in leading Cote d’Ivoire to victory in AfroBasket qualifiers


Stepping into a new role with a wealth of experience, former Cote d’Ivoire basketball star Stephane Konate is ready to lead his nation to greater heights as they embark on their 2025 FIBA AfroBasket Qualifiers journey. With the qualifiers set to kick off in Cairo, Konate is confident in his ability to propel the Ivorian team to success against formidable opponents.

Having recently retired from his playing career after representing Abidjan Basket Club, Konate is eager to share his knowledge and expertise with the national team. In an interview with FIBA, Konate expressed his enthusiasm for his new role, emphasizing the importance of continuity and experience in guiding the team forward.

With a focus on nurturing young talent while leveraging the experience of seasoned players like Souleyman Diabate, Konate believes in creating a balanced squad capable of competing at the highest level. He acknowledges the importance of having legends in the team to serve as role models for the younger generation, highlighting the significance of continuity and succession within the federation.

Konate recognizes the challenges that lie ahead for Cote d’Ivoire, particularly in a group that includes strong opponents like Egypt and the Central African Republic. However, he remains optimistic about his team’s chances, citing their potential to qualify for the AfroBasket tournament.

Reflecting on the changes within the federation and the coaching staff, Konate acknowledges the new reality facing Ivorian basketball. With a renewed sense of purpose and a coaching team led by Natxo Lekzano, Konate believes that Cote d’Ivoire is well-positioned to face the challenges ahead.

Looking ahead to the qualifiers, Konate emphasizes the importance of preparation and teamwork in overcoming the obstacles that await. He believes that Egypt will pose the biggest challenge but remains confident in his team’s ability to compete against any opponent.

For Cote d’Ivoire, the qualifiers represent an opportunity to bounce back from their 27th-place finish at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup and secure a spot in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament. With Konate at the helm, the Ivorian team is poised to showcase their talent and determination as they strive for success on the international stage.

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