Gorgui Dieng propelled Senegal to a win Sunday over Cape Verde, 86-73, securing a third-place finish for Senegal in AfroBasket after a tough loss a day earlier to Cote D'Ivoire.
Dieng led the Lions with 30 points and 12 rebounds against Cape Verde. For the event, Dieng scored a tournament-best 120 points to earn the 'Best Scorer' award. He was also named to the All-Tournament team for a third consecutive AfroBasket.
Similarly, Senegal came away from AfroBasket with a third-place finish for a third consecutive time, albeit with a much younger roster than they had in 2015 or 2017. 22-year-old guard Brancou Badio stood out from a core of young up-and-comers in their early 20s who performed well in their first continental championship. Head coach Boniface N'Dong appreciated how the 31-year-old Dieng meshed on the court with his young teammates.
"I was just talking to my first assistant (coach) DeSagana (Diop). 'Man, we have the future. But when are we going to have another Gorgui?' He is a once-in-a-generation player. I hope he sticks around. He proved it yesterday and today. He gave it everything.
"He even told me before the game, 'If we don't make shots, Boni, it's going to be tough.' And he was right. We needed to make shots because he commands so much attention on the court. Shoutout to him. He never hesitated to come (play for his national team)." Dieng finished the event with averages of 20.0 points (tops in the tournament) and 10.5 rebounds (2nd overall). He finished with a cumulative plus-minus rating of +120 in 154 total minutes played.
Joining Dieng on the AfroBasket All-Tournament team were Matt Costello of Cote D'Ivoire, former Atlanta Hawk Edy Tavares of Cape Verde, and Makram Ben Romdhane and Omar Abada from the tournament champion Tunisia squad.