PRAIA (FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup Qualifier Benin 2018) - For the first time ever, Cape Verde will compete in a 3x3 tournament when they lineup at the FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup Qualifier in Benin from August 16-18 in Cotonou, Benin.
The islanders, who are excited about the journey ahead, have sent teams in both the men and women categories with the ambition and desire of a newborn to ultimately redefine their fate in and around the African basketball sphere.
Cape Verde 3x3 Basketball Coordinator Suely Neves revealed that they had to make some quick moves to get the ball rolling with promoting 3x3. Within a few weeks of being certified as a FIBA-endorsed 3x3 national federation, they organised their first national tournament and are now moving on to the continental level.
"THIS IS THE FIRST TIME EVER THAT CAPE VERDE IS PARTICIPATING IN THE 3X3 TOURNAMENT SO IT IS MAJOR FOR US FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON IS BECAUSE THE TOURNAMENT HAS OPENED A NEW WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY ."
The shorter version of the hoops game has already created a wave of zeal and enthusiasm on the African continent with several countries embracing the many tournaments in Africa as well as across the world and Cape Verde is looking to become a core member of the thrilling 3x3 bandwagon.
When Cape Verde step onto the court tomorrow, it will be an opportunity to prove that they are on the right path even with the smallest of details.
"Tournament participation translates to gaining experience from a player's standpoint and it translates to gaining visibility from the country's standpoint. But ultimately, it translates to motivating the future generation of basketball players."
"As long as there's something to aspire to and in this case to represent your country at the highest level, the players will continue to play. So it is definitely very important for us to continue participating in these tournaments. Play hard and strive to be one of the top teams so we can qualify," Neves told FIBA.basketball.
"This is the first time ever that Cape Verde is participating in the 3x3 tournament so it is major for us for a number of reasons. But the most important reason is because the tournament has opened a new window of opportunity that wasn't there before for some of these players. This experience is going to be a game changer for Cape Verde, most definitely."
A record 11 teams including hosts Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’ Ivoire, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria will battle for the seven men and eight women's team slots for the FIBA 3x3 Africa Cup set for November 9-11 in Lome, Togo.