By: Baboucarr Fallaboweh
Serekunda West Basketball Academy and Gambia U-18 Point and Shooting guard Fanta Minteh over the weekend returned to the country after participating in the International Basketball Federation ( FIBA) African Regional Youth Camps in Mbour.
Minteh made the cut in the FIBA selection, where three Gambian girls had the tryout.
Pateh from Serekunda East made it from the boys and has arrived in Morocco.
This regional camp, initiated by FIBA Africa and the NBA, brings together 45 young basketball players from different countries and 15 coaches. It’s the second edition. After Madagascar got the nod last week, Senegal and Morocco will be honored to host the coming week’s stage.
Minteh named the MVP in the 2016/2017 and 2021 seasons, told the TAT sports desk that it was a fantastic camp.
“It was a successful one; it wasn’t easy at all because we were always on the ground for hours, having different permutations from different coaches. But, I’ve learned a lot, teamwork, taking details from the coach’s explanation, defense, self-discipline, personal hygiene, respect for your coaches and teammates,” she told TAT Sports.
Minteh became the first basketball player to be selected by FIBA from the Gambia and was among the 19 girls chosen out of the 40 participants to play in the All-Star games.
“I started basketball just for fun and to keep myself busy because I don’t want to be lazy at home after school. Later, I found out there’s more to basketball than just fun. I fell in love with the game beyond control.”
The player who stands at 5’9 has her strength in driving the ball. She is a champion holder of the 2021 GBA championship and represented the Gambia U18 3 on 3 in Kinshasa 2021 and made her senior debut in the All Islamic games in turkey 2022.
The 16-year-old said the Gambia has a lot of catching up to do.
“Africa is doing well in basketball. It’s just that the Gambia is left behind in so many ways currently; the Gambia doesn’t have a 5-on-5 basketball team, and you can only get international recognition, or your players can be seen in those kinds of competitions.” She added.