RADES (AfroBasket 2015) - Gabon became one of biggest surprises of AfroBasket 2015, and Gyll Therence Mayimba played a significant role in his country's campaign.
They started off with three defeats in as many games, but the team that had last appeared in Africa's flagship event in 2005, wasn't prepared to go home empty-handed and, against all odds, eliminated favourite Cape Verde in the Round of 16.
"We had to fight through as we came up pretty short in the first three games," he told FIBA.com.
"We stuck together, we worked hard and we had one goal as we never made it before."
However, Mayimba's participation in the tournament in Rades, Tunisia almost ended abruptly as he had to return to the USA to resume his academic and basketball career at George Mason University.
The 20-year-old was due to fly stateside just a few hours after his breakout performance, but a phone call to George Mason University's head coach Dave Paulsen gave Gabon a chance to count on Mayimba's services for a little longer.
"I got in touch with my coach at George Mason and he was cool with it as long as I go back before school," he said.
"I told him that I needed to stay because we had a very important game, and he told me that he understands because he has been coaching for a while.
"He told me to make sure that the [Gabon Basketball] Federation gets me a ticket before school starts on 31 August."
And the 1.99m forward didn't disappoint as he came up with yet another top performance leading Gabon with a team-high 21 points, although they fell short against a star-studded Nigeria team in Thursday's Quarter-Finals.
But Gabon's AfroBasket 2015 campaign will be remembered for the underdogs who came out nowhere to change the tournament's picture.
"We gave everything we had," Mayimba said.
And the reason Gabon lost all their three Group Phase games was, according to Mayimba, because of a lack of focus.
"We aren't used to this platform," he offered.
We needed to look at the mirror and figure out what’s wrong, and we did it. - Mayimba
The way in which Mayimba stands out for Gabon alongside his country's most famous basketball player - Euroleague star Stephane Lasme - and makes such a big impact is something which only basketball history will tells us.
"I just felt I needed to do everything that I could to help my country," he noted.
2If I had to dive for the ball, if I had to score, I wasn't thinking about statistics.
"Overall, my performance was okay, not great, but it was okay."
As for his college career, Mayimba sat out last season due to eligibility reasons, but he can't wait to get started.
"I am definitely looking forward for this season to start," he said with a wide smile.
"I am going to do what I love to do, which is play defense, encourage my teammates, set screens over there, and if I have to, encourage somebody to come up with their performances I will do that.
"It was hard to look at your team, and you can’t really do anything to help. But that time is past now, and I am looking forward to join the team.
"It's always good to play against great teams such as Cape Verde. You can see where you are, and you can measure yourself to all kind of players."