The Cameroonian Basketball Federation (FECABASKET) on Sunday announced a 30-player list for the FIBA AfroBasket 2017 Qualifiers and the Final Round. While head coach Lazare Adingono remains in charge of the team, a number of new faces are set – if available – to make their international debut with the Cameroonians. Among the newcomers, Joel Embiid and Pascal Siakam – a pair currently making waves in the NBA – headline the provisional list. They will be joined by Los Angeles Clippers forward Luc Mbah a Moute, who might play his last FIBA AfroBasket. According to the FECABASKET, the provisional list gives them a chance of choosing players for the qualifiers and for the Final Round in August (19-30) in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.
Joel Embiid is from Cameroon, so he speaks french very well. During the match between France and Croatia for FIBA World Cup, Embiid tweeted some french tweets to support France and so Nicolas Batum invited him to join France NT.
The basketball Indomitable Lions of Cameroon will soon be summoned for training camps and eventual friendly games ahead of the continental rendezvous. According to Alexi Siewe who is a basketball official in Cameroon, negotiations will be made with some newly appointed NBA professionals to ensure a fruitful performance this year. Some of the players include Mbah A Moute and Kadji who recently went professional. Cameroon appear determined for the title this year after falling several times in the final of the competition.
“It’s been ten years and I felt like I had to go back to Cameroon because now I’m a NBA player and not a little kid in middle school,” Batum said. “When I was 13, I had nice sneakers and video games and I remember how I felt seeing others with nothing. I grew up understanding how lucky I was. But, at some point, I think I forgot and that’s why I decided to go back and see how my family was doing and see what I could do to help them. “You know people say I’m French because my mom is French and I was born in France; I grew up there and everything, but my dad was born and raised in Africa and I have family, uncles, cousins and everything there. I’m from Africa, too.”
Batum says he sat in astonishment, listening to each young woman’s life story. “I was just shocked how 14-year old girls were raising their brothers and sisters,”Batum said. “They couldn’t even go to school because they had to work. I told them, ‘You are part of this world, too. You can become something in society.’ But, mostly I just listened.” After hearing all of those painful stories, Batum said he stayed awake for hours that night writing out a list of ways he might be able to be of some assistance. However, he said it was frustrating trying to come up with something.