LUANDA (Africa Champions Cup Women/2016 Rio Olympics) - A month ago Maimouna Diarra played a major role helping Senegal win the AfroBasket Women 2015 and qualify for next year’s Olympic, but she is now facing a new challenge at club level.
The 1.95m centre has joined Angolan giants Primeiro D’Agosto, one of the title contenders in this year’s African Champions Cup Women (ACCW), which is expected to run from 27 November to 6 December in the Angolan capital city of Luanda.
The Angolan Army-funded club regrouped and look at this year’s ACCW as an opportunity to bounce back from continuing disappointment at continental level.
And Diarra, who filled one of the two spots available for foreign players, replacing American Lindsay Taylor, is expected to make as much impact for D’Agosto as she made at AfroBasket Women 2015, where she averaged valuable 7.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.
Jaime Covilha who coached Angola at AfroBasket Women 2015, and is at the helm of D’Agosto, might have been impressed with Diarra’s potential to make a difference in the painted area, and made sure to sign the Senegalese who averaged impressive 18 points and 13 rebounds while playing for Spanish Club Baloncesto Arxil in the Liga Femenina 2 last season.
So far, things look challenging for Diarra who had a modest contribution in the D’Agosto 59-48 loss to star-studded InterClube de Luanda in the country Super Cup last week.
However, the 24-year-old feels she is at the right club right now.
“I love the Club, and my teammates make me comfortable in the team,” she told the Club weekly magazine.
If all goes according to plan, Diarra might face her national team teammate Aya Traore in the ACCW.
Traore has has helped Nigerian side First Bank secure one of the two places on offer for the ACCW in last week’s FIBA Africa Zone 3 qualifier held in Cotonou, Benin.