CAIRO (Egypt) – Egypt are regarded as one of the most successful nations in Africa when it comes to basketball developmental programmes, which accounts for them winning ten medals (5 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze) in as many appearances at the FIBA U18 African Championship.
The North African powerhouse have also successfully blended players from their youth teams to form the bedrock of the senior national team.
Egypt won three of their five gold medal collection on home court (1977, 1984 and 2008) while punching the remaining two away from home (Rwanda 2010 and Madagascar 2014).
Since the 2022 edition of the championship will be staged in Madagascar the young Pharaohs seem to be going back to a familiar terrain having won their last gold medal in 2010 in Antananarivo, which makes the 21st edition of the championship a must-watch and other teams should just be on the lookout.
In whatever group they find themselves when the draw is finally announced Egypt is sure to give a good account of themselves as the date of the event draw closer.
FIBA Ranking: 25th (World); 3rd (Africa)
Last participation at FIBA U18 African Championship: 2020 (3rd place)
Best results at FIBA U18 African Championship: Champions of Africa (1977, 1984, 2008, 2010, 2014); Runners-up (1998 and 2016); Third-Place: (2012; 2018 and 2020).
How they qualified for the 2022 FIBA U18 African Championship: Egypt secured their spot to the 21st edition of the FIBA U18 African Championship by virtue of finishing third in the 2020 edition of the tournament held in Cairo.
World: Egypt have had five appearances at the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup.
History/Qualification: Egypt qualified for their twelfth FIBA U18 African Championship appearances.
Player to watch out for: Seifeldin Hendawy was the go-to man for Egypt in the 2022 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup. The 16-year-old made a case with a team-highs 13.4 points – the only Egyptian player to average double digit points – and a 13.7 efficiency.
Head coach: Amr Aboul Kheir is a former Egypt international who played as a point guard, As a player he represented his country at several international tournaments. He became an Olympian at the 1988 Seoul Games, and has featured at the 1990 FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Aboul Kheir has coached Egypt men’s team on several occasions, but it was in the 2013 that he grabbed international headlines after leading Egypt to the final of the FIBA AfroBasket in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Lining up a a very young squad, Aboul Kheir’s Egypt started their AfroBasket with a 0-3, but, in a turn of events, Egypt knocked out then-defending champions Tunisia, before beating Senegal in the Semi-Final. Eventually Egypt settled to a second place after falling to Angola.
Despite the setback against Angola, Aboul Kheir’s secured one of the three tickets available for African teams for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain.
Outlook: One thing Egypt won’t be short of before heading to Antananarivo is competitive games. According to the Egyptian Basketball Federation, Amr Aboul Kheir will take to Madagascar the very team that finished 10th in the just concluded 2022 FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup held in early July in Spain.
As a powerhouse on the continent of Africa, Egypt dream big, and making it to the Championship is probably their main objective in Madagascar.
Can they win their first U18 African Championship title since 2014? The answer is, they will need a strong start to the tournament and be prepared for the likes of Mali, Senegal and Angola, a trio aiming as much as Egypt in Antananarivo.
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