HARARE (AfroBasket 2015) - In the lead-up to AfroBasket 2015, we take a closer look at all 16 participating teams competing in the championship running from 19-30 August.
FIBA Ranking Men: None
Last participation in the AfroBasket: None
Best result in the history of AfroBasket: None
Qualification for AfroBasket 2015 - Finished second of the FIBA Africa Zone VI Qualifier Group I
History/Qualification: Zimbabwe men’s national team made history as they book their qualification for AfroBasket 2015, following the FIBA Africa Zone 6, Group I held from 21 - 28 February 2015 in Bulawayo.
To reach this stage, Zimbabwe battled hard to upset South Africa with a 66-64 win in their last game of these Qualifiers.
Head-coach Ellery Pinkerton and his men will open their AfroBasket campaign in a clash with Algeria before facing off Cote d’Ivoire and Cape Verde.
Key Player: For their first appearance in the continental top flight tournament, Zimbabwe could rely on Tatenda Maturure who had a pivotal role during the zone VI qualifiers. He poured in game-high 29 points, in the decisive game against South Africa.
Rising Star: Even if Vitalis Chikoko will be making his first appearance at AfroBasket, the 24-year-old is not a strange to high level tournaments.
Chikoko who last represented his country during the 2011 AfroBasket qualifiers has achieved great experience since he started plying his trade in European clubs.
Last season, he helped his Italy side Pallacanestro Reggiana to reach the final of the country's top flight Lega Basket Serie A.
The 2.09m center has built his reputation of attacking and defending the rim with tremendous ferocity and will be one of the main assets of Zimbabwe.
Outlook: Knowing that they will compete as underdogs, Zimbabwe are trying to get all the necessary means for impressive participation in the event running from 19 - 30 August in Tunisia.
The team has left Harare for the remainder of their preparation in Germany where they will play warm-up games after their two wins over Zambia couple of weeks ago.
In just six words: Defy all the expectations.