Egypt’s junior basketball team for under 18 won the Arab Juniors Basketball Championship, which was held at the Egyptian Olympic Athletes Club (El-Olympi) in Alexandria, Egypt.
Lebanon won silver and Algeria won bronze in this championship. At the African Juniors Basketball Championship in Rwanda, the Egyptian team came in second place, while Angola took first place.
The team is now preparing for the 2017 Basketball World Cup for under 19.
On this occasion, Gezira Sporting Club (GSC) held a ceremony on Saturday to honour the four GSC basketball players who are part of the junior national team: Seif El-Sanadily, Abdel Rahman El-Guendi, Tarek Mamdouh, and Ahmed Abou El-Ela. The ceremony was presided over by Assem Abbas.
The basketball players told Daily News Egypt that, in terms of group sports, Egyptians have been successful in handball. They said, however, that the junior national team, along with the Egyptian Basketball Federation, are doing their best to achieve a high ranking at the upcoming World Cup.
The players said that their strongest rival is the US junior basketball team, which has won almost all the World Cups. When asked about their plans to improve their team, they said: “A Spanish trainer came to train the team, and we will participate in five training camps before the World Cup.”
They commented that a huge number of tournaments are held abroad and competing in these is essential for improving any team’s performance: “Before the World Cup, we will participate in some friendly tournaments, which is very important for us to become more qualified.”
The players denied experiencing any tension between Egyptian and Algerian players; on the contrary, they said the Algerian team was incredibly respectful when they played together.
Latvia, Italy, and Israel were competing to host the World Cup for juniors; however, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) announced in March that the tournament will be hosted by Egypt.
In this regard, Magdy Abou Farikha, who was present at the ceremony, told Daily News Egypt: “To host the World Cup, three courts are required: two for matches and a third for training. Egypt was able to offer four courts at the Cairo International Stadium, which is surrounded by many prestigious hotels, where the foreign delegations can enjoy their stay.”
Egypt received strong support in its aspirations to host the tournament, especially from its sports figures and Egyptian professional players abroad, including footballer Mohamed Elneny and basketball players Assem Marey and Anas Mahmoud.