27 January 2013

CAMEROON : An African Queen in the Cameroon Kingdom

Ramses Lonlack (CAM) Memphis Tigers (2008-2012)
CoAfter spending four superb seasons with the Memphis Tigers in the NCAA Women's Division 1, Cameroon's Ramses Lonlack is finishing her civil engineering degree but can’t hide the fact that her attention is also on the national team, a side she hopes to become a regular member of.
Later this year, she could return to the courts with Cameroon to compete at the 2013 Afrobasket Women in Mozambique, a qualifier tournament for the 2014 FIBA World Championship for women.
While she is "proud to represent Cameroon", Lonlack hopes to be informed of Cameroon's Federation's plans’ beforehand in order to avoid any clashes with her studies.
“It depends on the timing. If I am not in school, I am sure I am going to join my national team,” she told FIBA.com.
Affectionately known as 'the African Queen (AQ)' - because her college teammates struggled to pronounce her name - she last played for Cameroon in a 73-50 defeat at the 2011 Afrobasket Women against tournament hosts Mali.
The Cameroonians boasted one of the youngest teams in that tournament, with an average age of 22.
They registered a 3-5 record and finished sixth.
Lonlack contributed 5.4 points per game.
She wishes she "could have helped more" her national team as she sat out three of their eight games due to a knee injury suffered in Cameroon's opener against Rwanda.
The 24-year-old feels that the Mozambique showdown is the stage for Cameroon’s turning-point.
The Indomitable Lionesses, as the team is known, is more like a talented kingdom, especially as they can count on a very athletic team that includes former collegiate UNLV Rebels forward Sandrine Nzeukou and former Arizona Wildcats center Amina Njonkou, the team’s leading scorer two years ago in Mali.
“The problem with African teams and organisers is that they keep changing the tournament’s schedule and programmes all the time, and you can't prepare yourself appropriately," Lonlack said.
"In my opinion, we need at least three weeks to make a team play together.
"I don't believe that one week is adequate time for a team to get used to each other when they meet only a few times a year.
"The transition plays and other movements require time to get used to," she added.
Cameroon’s best result to date is a bronze medal at the 1984 Afrobasket Women in Dakar, Senegal and they currently stand 52nd in the FIBA Women's Ranking.
College legacy

Lonlack might have finished her college basketball career, but she is still practicing with the Memphis Tigers.
She was named NCAA Conference-USA Defensive Player of the Year last year and chosen to the same conference's All-Defensive Team in three consecutive years (2010-2012).
The 1.73m guard showed promise from the start, being named C-USA Rookie of the Year in 2008.
She enjoys a remarkable personal record as she holds the Tigers' record for career games played (129), career starts (123) and minutes played (3,958).
Although she is focused on her academics, playing professional basketball has not been ruled out as a possibility.
“I am more likely to play overseas," Lonlack said before pointing out that that she believes she has "the potential to make it to the WNBA".
And that potential is highlighted by Melissa McFerrin, the Memphis Tigers head coach, who once said of Lonlack: "Obviously the first thing she does for our team is still get our defense started at the top of the floor and run the floor and create a threat in transition, and I don't know that anyone does those two things better, certainly in our program, and maybe, in a lot of past years, here at the University of Memphis."

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