Cameroon Ready to Make a Comeback at FIBA U18 African Championship for the First Time in a Long While

DOUALA, Cameroon – Cameroon is gearing up to make a significant mark at the FIBA U18 African Championships for both male and female teams, reigniting basketball expectations among the youth in the country.

The Central African nation will be the sole representative from Zone 4 at the 2024 FIBA U18 African Championships, set to take place in August in South Africa. This marks the first time in 16 years that Cameroon has participated in the regional qualifiers for the FIBA U18 African Championship in 2008, although they did not make it to the final phase held in Alexandria, Egypt.

Cameroon last participated in the African U20 Championship in 2004 and the African U18 Championship in 1994. As for their U18 women’s team, they have never taken part in a FIBA Africa event. This is a crucial moment for Cameroon as they aim to solidify their position on the continental stage after such a long absence.

The national U18 championship will serve as the foundation for forming the two national teams. To ensure the best possible elements in the respective national teams, a national program has been established, with technicians meticulously identifying and developing young talents throughout the year.

« Our national U18 championship will see the top regional teams compete in the playoffs. But talent identification and detection happen all year round, » explained Camille Njoh, Secretary-General of the Cameroonian Basketball Federation (FECABASKET), to FIBA.basketball.

Njoh also emphasized that the teams will consist of a mix of players already active in local senior teams. « This applies to both boys and girls, showcasing the quality of players, » he added.

Anticipation is high as the Cameroonian U18 team prepares to make a comeback on the continental stage. After such a long absence, it is time to test their skills and get a clear picture of their position on the continent.

Participating in the FIBA U18 African Championship means a lot to us. We need our youth to gain international experience. They represent the next generation of Cameroonian players, whom we do not want to lose. This tournament is an opportunity for them to showcase themselves at the international level and prepare for the future.

The male team aims for a strong comeback against some of the continent’s toughest opponents. Mali and Egypt, two powerhouses in African youth basketball, pose significant challenges. However, Njoh is confident in his players’ chances in South Africa.

« We will compete against the best teams in Africa. We are competitors, and we are not going there just to make up the numbers. Every game situation is a lesson to learn. We will always be learning, » he emphasized.

The Cameroonian U18 women’s team will face a different challenge as the young girls will be lining up for the first time. The Federation intends not only to participate but to compete with established giants.

« The goal is the same for all our teams because for each of them, this is a first experience at this international level. The aim is to go as far as possible in this competition and gain experience. But once again, when we enter a competition, it is to win. »