Desagana Diop, Ambition of the Lion

Senegal’s new coach was appointed Thursday (July 14th) following the dismissal of former NBA player Boniface Ndong, ranked 8th in the 2001 draft, by Desagana Diop as he goes through the latest summer. Also appointed as head coach of the Westchester Knicks G-League franchise, affiliated with the famous New York Knicks, the former hub is an African technician who, slowly but surely, is making a place for himself in the sun in the best league. of basketball in the world.

The trip to Alexandria at the beginning of July was not easy for the Teranga lions. The problem of transportation and preparations cut off .. In the qualifying stage for the upcoming 2023 Basketball World Cup, the players recorded two defeats in three matches, against. Egypt (76-43) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (70-62). The ax fell, and the report was not resumed: Boniface Ndong, named last year, took the door.

Desagana Diop, his first assistant and former player NBA (Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Charlotte Bobcats), is set to replace him on Thursday, July 14. A rising figure in African training in the United States, he intends to fully invest himself in his mission, even though he is taking the place of a friend. “ I talked to him about it, and I had to get”pond”, because he is a friend, Desagana Diop captivates. I told him I was ready for this challenge, and now I’m taking the job straight, with the desire to prepare the team as much as possible for the August window, which will be very intense. »

Severe, word suffices. Penultimate in a group dominated by fiery, undefeated South Sudan, the Lions scored three wins and three defeats to start the second phase that will include six matches… thus there is no room for maneuver.

Retain Senegalese staff

Only the two best teams from each group of six qualify for the 2023 edition of the continental tournament, and Diop has handed out the i to begin his commando mission. ” We will do our best, we will go there with all our ambitions, because we want to qualify for the World Cup. We have been present in a large number of World Cup tournaments and we must put all the elements on our side to be part of the qualified teams. You’ll start with a very solid defensive base game philosophy, and you’ll play at our full strength at 110%. ‘, the captain of the new boat of Senegal insists that he should straighten the keel as quickly as possible.

Another important element in Diop’s philosophy is to keep a Senegalese base in his crew, asAliou Sissi In football with the band Sadio Mane And the Edward Mendy, who won the continental title last spring and who inspired the new head coach of the Pennant basketball team. “ Senegal has a lot of talent in this field, but we also have a lot of good technical players and specialized coaches all over the NBA, like Amadou Mbodji of the Chicago Bulls, Remy Ndiaye of the Miami Heat and many more.says the coach. We have quality, so we must use it and put it in the service of the national team as quickly as possible. »

Amadou Gallo Val as a mentor and in the footsteps of Im Odoka

For the 2006 NBA Final with the Dallas Mavericks, a career only came to be a coach when he retired at age 31.

After 12 seasons in the world’s best league, the Senegalese hub was at a crossroads in 2013. I had knee problems and had to hang up my sneakers. I told myself that I would be able to do things I had never had the opportunity to do before, like travel and have a good time. I just wanted to enjoy life. Especially since in my career, I have never thought of becoming a coach, it means absolutely nothing to me! Laughing again today Desajana Diop.

But after a few months of inactivity, Diop, the fixer in Dallas, went to see his friend Amadou Gallo Val, then Donnie Nelson, who drives Texas Legends, a G-League franchise affiliated with Mavericks. “ He asked me if I wanted to try my hand at a position in club management, assistant sporting director or a role in the genre, but I gave him a chance on the ground to help the youth. Neither one nor two, I quickly fell in love with a work of art ! He remembers.

The impact of the current NBA president on Africa and BAL’ He was extremely important, a true teacher, a big brother who paved the way for all of us ”, admits Desagana Diop. The former player then initially held the position of Youth Development Manager, which consisted of supporting a few players to get them to perform specific work in their game, and then became an assistant coach for legends.

In 2016, he was recruited by the Utah Jazz as an assistant coach and worked, among others, with superstar Donovan Mitchell and French hub Rudy Gobert. He is given more and more responsibilities, and ranks in one of the best teams in the league.

Westchester Knicks

After four years in Salt Lake City, the Lion was recruited by the Houston Rockets as an assistant coach in the franchise at Full Reconstruction. ” I really learned a lot in both Utah and Houston, but I also wanted another challenge, to be the first to implement my play principles, and to really be the one in charge of coaching the team. And the Knicks called me to take charge of their G-League team, the Westchester Knicks Remember the coach.

close to his native Mokhtar Ndiaye Who worked in the franchise at the Big Apple as a scout for four years, Diop became the second French-speaking African, after Congolese Patrick Mutombo in the Raptors 905, to become the head coach at this level. ” It’s a huge challenge, and I’m really working hard on building the squad for next season by supervising the players that play during the NBA Summer League taking place in Las Vegas through Sunday. He affirms before adding: I am very excited and excited about this new challenge, which I see as another step in my journey to become the head coach of the NBA franchise one day. »

Nigeria’s Aime Odoka’s superb season at the helm of the Boston Celtics gives more hope to Diop, who once again confirms that Africa also has talent in the woodland setting. “ There are a lot of African technicians who could become number one, who are doing an excellent job in various NBA franchises in the role of assistant coaches for example, and I think we will have a new Ime Udoka in the coming years. I make no secret of it, my ambition is very high, and my goal is to do everything to become the number one coach in the NBA franchise. It will be extraordinary and I will not let it go! All the sacrifices I make pay off, and I work hard every day for it. I believe in my destiny, and I believe in my ability to wear the number one technical suit. »

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