MLI - Dabo's race against the clock
ARRAS (Afrobasket for Women/FIBA World Championship for Women) - It has been four months since Mali international Astan Dabo suffered a knee injury that cut short her season with Arras Basket in the French top flight Ligue Féminine.
The 2.03m center is now recovering from her setback, and can't do more than seeing Arras battling to avoid relegation as the next three games are regarded as must-win situations.
At the time, Sun’s head coach Mike Thibault had high hopes to see Dabo play for the Sun in a year or two after spending more time in Europe.
Dabo was expected to compete at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women (OQTW), but ultimately did not.
She featured in this season’s Euroleague Women.
In the time since, Thibault has parted way with the Sun and joined Washington Mystics.
Dabo is now racing against the clock as Mali prepare for Mozambique, the site of this year’s Afrobasket for Women - and do better than they did at the 2011 Afrobasket held on their home soil, where they finished third.
In that tournament, Mali beat Nigeria 71-62 in the Third-Place Game and Dabo averaged 3.6 points and 2.6 boards per game.
Her chances of helping Mali finish in the top two of the Mozambique showdown, and make it to the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women - to be staged in Turkey - will depend on how fast she recovers from a knee injury.
The 20-year-old is a regular member of Mali's national women’s team and featured at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women in Czech Republic.
Before the injury, Dabo averaged 3.8 points and 5.1 rebounds in under 10 minutes per game.