BAMAKO (AfroBasket Women 2015) - In the lead-up to AfroBasket Women 2015,, we take a closer look at all 12 participating teams competing in the championship running from 24 September-3 October in Yaounde, Cameroon.
FIBA Women Ranking: 19th
Last participation at the AfroBasket Women: 2013 (5 wins, 3 losses; 5th place)
Best result in the history of AfroBasket Women: Africa champions in 2007
Qualified for AfroBasket Women 2015: Although Mali finished fifth at AfroBasket Women 2013, they secured direct qualification for this year's tournament as Cameroon, who finished fourth in Maputo 2013, are the AfroBasket Women 2015 hosts.
Thanks to that triumph, they booked their first-ever Olympic appearance at 2008 Beijing Games.
One of the title contenders for AfroBasket Women 2015, Mali also counted with a silver medal accomplished at AfroBasket Women 2009 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
In addition to their first continental title, Mali also achieved two third-place finishes (1968 and in 2011).
In the 2011 edition of the tournament held in their capital city of Bamako, Mali fell short 56 -51 in the Semi-Finals against Angola, the eventual champions.
For this year’s event which serves as a qualifier for the 2016 Olympics Games, Mali have been drawn in Group A along with hosts Cameroon, Gabon, Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda
Key players: Meiya Tirera, who led Mali with team-high 12 points per game in the African Championship two years ago in Maputo, should be one of the team’s pivotal pieces.
Veterans Naignouma Coulibaly and Nassira Traore will also be essential for Mali who are chasing their second Olympic appearance.
Rising Star: Djeneba N'Diaye - MVP of the 2014 AfroBasket U18 Women – epitomises the future generation of Mali women's basketball.
She sparked Mali with a team-high 12.7 points per game at 2015 U19 FIBA Women's World Championship in Russia.
Ndiaye's selection for the AfroBasket Women 2015 came as no surprise as she had already featured in Mali's FIBA Africa Zone 2 qualifier as well as the All-Africa Games 2015 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
Outlook: Mali have confirmed their good shape and ambition for this year’s event as the captured gold medal at the 2015 All Africa Games as result of a 73-57 win against Nigeria.
Possible Outcome: The team is able of winning the championship title.