SHEFFIELD (Julio Chitunda's African Message) - As Mali gear up for hosting the FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2017 (August 18-27), it's time to look back and find out what some of the tournament most talented players have been up to now a decade on.
FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2007
Mali's Hamchetou Maiga, at the time a WNBA star with the Houston Comets, inspired her country to their first-ever African title.
As well as being named the tournament MVP, Maiga headlined the All-Tournament team along with Crispina Correia (Cape Verde), Djene Diawara (Mali), Carla Da Silva (Mozambique) and Aya Traore (Senegal).
Tournament leading scorer with 18 points per game, Correia returned from her national team retirement four years ago, but a knee injury prevented her from playing at her best level.
She currently lives in Angola and works as a basketball scout for the Cape Verdean Basketball Federation.
Diawara who finished with a tournament-high 8.8 rebounds per game, last played for Lyon Basket in France's Ligue Feminine de Basket (LFB) and is expected to feature for Mali.
Da Silva's 14.5 points per game proved crucial for Mozambique although they fell short to Angola in the Third-Place contest. She has retired from her playing career in 2012.
FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2009
After a frustrating African Championship two years earlier on home soil, Senegal small forward Aya Traore came up big in Madagascar leading her country to their 11th African title.
Named MVP, Traore led the tournament All-Star team along with Nacissela Mauricio, Fatou Dieng, Aminata Nar Diop and Naignouma Coulibaly.
Traore has repeated her MVP honors six years later as they upset hosts Cameroon in the final to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 1.82m forward is one of the talents to watch out for in Mali next week.
While Dieng and Coulibaly are expected to represent their respective countries in the Bamako showdown, 6ft5in (1.96m) center Nar Diop, who dominated the paint with seven rebounds per game, last played for Roche Vendee BC in LFB.
FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2011
Mauricio, who led Angola to two consecutive African titles (2011 and 2013) has retired from her playing career last year. She currently works as Primeiro D'Agosto Women's Basketball Administrator.
Mauricio headlined the All-Tournament team alongside her fellow Angolan Sonia Guadalupe, Djenebou Sissoko (Mali), Mame Diodio Diouf (Senegal) and Aya Traore (Senegal). With the exception of Mauricio, Guadalupe, Sissoko, Diouf and Traore are set to play in Bamako next week.
FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2013
Mauricio played a major role in Angola's title accomplished in Mozambique in 2013. She was named to the best five players alongside Ramses Lonlack (Cameroon), Deolinda Ngulela (Mozambique), Leia Dongue (Mozambique) and Astou Traore (Senegal).
From that group, Mauricio and Ngulela have retired while Dongue, Lonlack and Traore could play in the Bamako 12-team showdown.
Ngulela is currently serving as the assistant coach of Mozambique women's team and will be in Bamako.
FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2015
Gabon's Geraldine Robert was a delight to watch two years ago. She was named to the All-Star team - along with Ngulela, Aya Traore, Adaora Elonu and Lonlack - has recently joined LFB side Cavigal Nice Basket 06.
Robert also splits her time between France and her native Gabon running her YEMALI Foundation.
By Julio Chitunda for FIBA.com