ABIDJAN (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers) – It’s been seven years since Cote d’Ivoire last played at a FIBA Basketball World Cup, and they hope to return in China 2019.
In order to fulfil their aspirations, the Western Africans have set out a number of plans that will see a new coach and a training camp being held in the United States ahead of their FIBA Basketball World 2019 African Qualifiers Group D campaign in February in Maputo, Mozambique.
According to a statement from the country’s Basketball Federation, Anthony Coleman has been named the team’s head coach.
The 35-year-old American, who currently serves as assistant coach at Arizona State University (ASU), replaces former France international Hugues Occansey.
The Frenchman was in charge of the former African champions in the last two editions of the African Championships.
Although Coleman is yet to be formally unveiled, the Ivorian Basketball Federation says he will have three assistant namely Michael Toti – who last represented the “Elephants” at FIBA AfroBasket 2017 – Tony Miller and Andre Oupoh.
Michael Toti seen here at FIBA AfroBasket 2017
The No. 6 African team on the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, will face Senegal, the Central African Republic and hosts Mozambique from February 23-25 in the first-leg of Group D’s of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers, which will see five Africa nations qualify for the Finals in China.
Talking to FIBA.basketball, Blaise Coulibaly, Manager of Cote d’Ivoire National Teams, said: “Our main target is to get back to the world stage. The last time we played at FIBA Basketball World Cup was in 2010 in Turkey. Now that FIBA has increased the number of African teams for the next edition of the world cup under the New Competition System, we don’t want to miss this big opportunity.”
Coleman could become the third American to hold a head coach job with an African team over the last two years after Will Voigt – who led Nigeria to the FIBA AfroBasket 2015 title, and is currently at the helm of Angola – and Dallas Mavericks video coordinator George Galanapolous, who coached Uganda at FIBA AfroBasket 2017.
According to his ASU profile, coleman was part of Xavier University teams that won the Atlantic 10 titles in 2001-02 and played in the NCAA Tournament in 2001 and 2002.