17 October 2012

IVORY COAST : CIV - Abouo makes transition from college to pros

4. Charles ABOUO (Cote d'Ivoire)
Puerto Rico - Cote d' Ivoire. Day 6 of the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Ankara, Turkey. 2 September 2010. Preliminary round
HUESCA (Afrobasket/FIBA Basketball World Cup) - Charles Abouo is certain to figure prominently in the plans of Cote d'Ivoire next summer when they host the Afrobasket, the qualifying tournament on the continent for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup,.
A 22-year-old forward who played college basketball in America at Brigham Young University (BYU), Abouo has just begun his professional career in Spain with LEB side Lobe Huesca.
Abouo is known for his outstanding career at BYU, where he never missed a game in four years and started every contest in as a senior.
In his last season, he reached double digits in points 20 times and had four double-doubles, including one against Gonzaga, which is where his countryman Edy Guy plays.

The Cote d'Ivoire experience
Abouo was Cote d'Ivoire's youngest player at Afrobasket 2009 and at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey the following year.
He was not able to compete for his country in Madagascar at Afrobasket 2011 but as Cote d'Ivoire are serving as the host nation for Afrobasket 2013, Abouo is desperate to be involved.
"My goal is just to help my team qualify for the World Championship (World Cup) in any way I can," he said to FIBA.com.
"My personal goal when I play with my country is just for us to win. It is a total team effort."
Asked about the inaugural 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, Abouo said: "I think it will be great.
"The Spanish federation is a top class organization. It will be a great event with lots of depth from top to bottom.
"It will be a great challenge to qualify out of Africa but I think my country's team definitely has what it takes to be in contention for a berth."
Cote d'Ivoire not only qualified for the 2010 FIBA World Championship but almost advanced from the Preliminary Round.
As it was, a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Puerto Rico at the death in their last game cost them, as it allowed China to instead progress on a tie-breaker with the three teams.
Looking ahead to Abidjan next summer, Abouo knows there will be a lot of competition for podium places
Nigeria earned a trip to the Olympics via the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT), Tunisia won last year's Afrobasket and Angola are the traditional powerhouse of Africa
Senegal and Cameroon also have great potential.
"There are a lot of solid players and good teams in the Afrobasket championships every year," Abouo said.
"I think the coaching makes a huge difference.
"I know for us having Coach Randoald Dessarzin [former Cote d'Ivoire coach] helped us take advantage of our personnel, because everyone is athletic, so having a good coach is fundamental."

Looking back
Abouo has arrived in Spain with a bachelor's degree in exercise and wellness and with a minor in business.
While he and his teammates made headlines last year with a huge come-from-behind win over Iona in the NCAA Tournament, he rates his over experience as a student as being equally important in his life.
"I obviously received an opportunity to learn quite a bit academically but also I learned how to interact with a wide variety of people," he said.
"There is a lot of development athletically and academically in four years of college, but being able to develop socially and also learn how to interact and become a contributing citizen in your society is just as important."


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