PLASENCIA (FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers) - Aboubacar Hima thinks Cote d'Ivoire have no time to waste and should go into each of their games at the upcoming FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 African Qualifiers as if they are a Final.
"We have to take these games like they are a Final," Hima said. "We have to go out there and do our job and get the wins."
Cote d'Ivoire must finish in the top three in Group D to reach the second round of Qualifiers.
"We know that it's going be hard, but we have players with a lot of experience. For sure, we are going to compete to be one of those three teams," the 25-year-old Hima said.
The Niamey native Hima averaged 8.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists last summer and is ready to be a leader in Mozambique and the rest of the Qualifiers.
"For me, it's an honor to play for the national team and I will give my 100 percent any time the team needs me," said Hima, who was one of six players on the Cote d'Ivoire team at AfroBasket 2017 aged 25 and younger."
"I am working hard to be one of those guys who help the team get to the top of Africa. Each year we have a new young team and that is the team building into a very solid team," he explained.
"It's hard,” Hima said after hearing that fact. "The federation and the country have to make a big effort to help the athletes to give their 100 percent."
When asked what it would be like to reach China 2019, Hima answered: "For us being in China would be a great feeling. Then we can show to the world that Cote d'Ivoire can do great things playing basketball."
But the first step is Cote d'Ivoire playing three "Finals" in February in Mozambique.