Hawks' Gorgui Dieng Leads Senegalese National Team to Victory
Dominating His Way to the FIBA Afrobasket Semi Finals
KL Chouinard @KLChouinard
New Hawks center Gorgui Dieng has led the Senegalese national team to the semifinals of FIBA Afrobasket.
Senegal went 3-0 in group play to earn a bye into the quarterfinals of the elimination round. In Wednesday's quarterfinals match, Senegal defeated Angola, 79-74. Dieng posted a first-half double-double before finishing with 13 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Senegal's team, nicknamed the Lions, finished 3rd in the most recent Afrobasket (2017), and has the third-most gold medals and overall medals in the history of the event. In November 2017, the event switched from a biennial to a quadrennial tournament, making this year's 16-team event in Kigali, Rwanda the first to be held since the switch.
Dieng was named to the All-Tournament team in both 2015 and 2017. Through games played Wednesday in this year's event, Dieng ranked 6th in points per game (16.5) and 2nd in rebounds (10.0)
Senegal defeated Uganda, South Sudan and Cameroon in group play. South Sudan head coach (and one-time Atlanta Hawk) Royal Ivey had high praise for the Lions after their match.
"That's a great team out there. From the point guard (Brancou Badio) to Gorgui to three-point shooters, they have a lot of synergy. They execute, and they're physical. They're going to be a force to be reckoned with."
Senegal will face Cote D'Ivoire Saturday in a semifinal match, and the winner of that game earns a berth in Sunday's gold-medal game.