A Guide to the Côte d'Ivoire Men’s Basketball Team
The Côte d'Ivoire men’s basketball team, also known as ‘Les Éléphants’ (The Elephants), are one of Africa’s finest national teams. To date, they’ve won two FIBA AfroBasket titles and four silver medals. In 2023, they made their fifth appearance at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Discover everything there is to know about the Côte d'Ivoire men’s basketball team with the help of this comprehensive guide from the Courtside 1891 squad.
2024 Olympics - Men's Basketball
The Côte d'Ivoire men's basketball team are confirmed as one of the 24 nations that will compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments 2024, which you can stream live with Courtside 1891. The tournaments are currently scheduled for July 2-7 2024.
Four places remain to make up the twelve-team field that will compete at the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The Olympic basketball events will take place between 27th July and 10th of August 2024. The nations currently confirmed to participate are France (host), South Sudan, Serbia, Canada, Japan, Germany, Australia and the United States.
Along with Côte d'Ivoire, Angola, Egypt and Cameroon are the competing African nations.
Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Mexico advanced from the Americas region, following positive results at the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They will be joined by the Bahamas, who shocked Argentina in the FIBA Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournament in La Banda, Argentina.
From Asia and Oceania, the teams that advanced were Lebanon, New Zealand, Bahrain and the Philippines.
The European nations competing in Olympic qualifying tournaments are Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Lithuania, Italy, Spain, Greece, Georgia, Poland, Montenegro and Finland.
How Did Côte d'Ivoire Do At The FIBA World Cup 2023?
Here are the key stats from Côte d'Ivoire's FIBA Basketball World Cup campaign:
- → Final Standing: 27th
- → Results: Played 5 Won 1 Lost 4
- → Top Points Scorer: Jean Philippe Dally 54 PTS (10.8 PPG)
- → Top Assist Provider: Solo Diabate 28 AST (5.6 APG)
- → Most Efficient Player: Solo Diabate 11.2 EPG
Côte d'Ivoire proved to be a solid outfit that lacked the scoring punch needed to make a splash at this level. Their solo World Cup win came over Iran with Solo Diabate sinking the clutch free throws in their 71-69 victory. Only 3 players scored more than 40 points in five games for a team that qualified comfortably for the tournament. Stream free highlights of their game v Iran, below.
Team Presentation Video
Interested in learning more about Côte d'Ivoire - Africa’s top-ranked team heading into the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023? Check out this bite-size Team Discovery Video, which covers their historic accomplishments, legendary players and current talent.
Côte d'Ivoire World Cup Qualification
The Côte d'Ivoire basketball team started their qualification campaign for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 in Group C, alongside Angola, Guinea and the Central African Republic.
Here, they outclassed their competitors, advancing to the second and final qualification phase with an impressive 6-0 record. During this time, they triumphed in a couple of incredibly tense games against Angola, who they beat twice by a combined margin of three points.
In the first of these games, they gave up the first 16 points of the game and were behind 20-3, before rallying back and becoming the first side to beat Angola in Angola in more than three decades!
In the final qualification round, Côte d'Ivoire were drawn in Group E, alongside Angola, Cape Verde, Nigeria, Guinea and Uganda. Here their strong run of form continued and they ultimately topped the group with an 8-2 record. During the process, they became the first African team to qualify for the World Cup, doing so with a full window to spare.
Only 10 of Les Éléphants’ 12 qualification games counted towards their overall 8-2 record. This is because Mali was disqualified from Group A. As a result, Côte d'Ivoire’s results against the last-ranked team in their initial qualifying group (the Central African Republic) were disregarded in the final standings.
Best World Cup Qualifying Plays
Throughout the team’s qualifying campaign, Côte d'Ivoire were ably led by forward Vafessa Fofana, who featured in all 12 games. He notably powered the side to victory against Nigeria, finishing the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds. He ended the campaign with 137 points, 70 rebounds and an efficiency rating of 168, leading the team in all of these categories.
Up and down the roster, a number of players showed off their athleticism, skill and powerful finishes throughout their qualification run. You can watch the team’s Top 10 plays below. It’s well worth keeping an eye out for the team’s winning basket from their game in Angola, which involves some excellent ball movement and tenacious rebounding that led to a historic W!
Current Star Players
Côte d'Ivoire announced an expanded 31-man roster for FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. This final squad will likely be anchored by the bedrock of the qualify campaign, Vafessa Fofana.
Fofana represented his country at FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019, but since then, The Elephants have assembled a much more potent squad. That was evident when he helped his country win the silver medal at FIBA AfroBasket 2021, where Fofana averaged 12 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.
He’s joined on the extended roster by several other anchors from qualifying, including Souleyman Diabate and Maxence Dadiet. These talented and determined players will likely make up a major core of the team that will appear in Asia later this year. They’re joined by a few other key weapons, including naturalized American-born,Matt Costello, and Alex Poythress, who looked lethal through 3 qualifying games and made several appearances in their Top 10 plays.
An intriguing addition is Philadelphia 76ers’ center Mo Bamba, who is eligible to represent Les Éléphants thanks to his Ivorian heritage. The former 2018 number 6th pick in the NBA draft has found opportunities to shine, hard to come by in recent seasons. You would expect coach Dejan Prokic gave him some assurances about his national team role ahead of his selection.
Legends of the Team
Côte d'Ivoire’s golden generation of the 1970s and 80s was anchored by the legendary Drissa Dié. Incredibly efficient in the paint and around the basket, he made his first appearance for Les Éléphants in 1975, when he was 15 years old.
Throughout the next decade, he was central to the team’s success at the FIBA Africa Championship (now FIBA AfroBasket), and he notably helped the side win the gold medal in 1981.
The following year, he made his only appearance at the World Cup. He left his mark on the tournament and, to date, his average points per game total of 21.6 is the highest of any Côte d'Ivoire player.
Historical World Cup Performance
Les Éléphants have played at four editions of the FIBA Basketball World Cup but they’re yet to translate continental success into meaningful World Cup moments.. In fact, they’ve only ever won one game at the World Cup. This came in 2010, when they defeated Puerto Rico 88-79 in their final group game.
Previous Successes and Tournament Wins
Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the Côte d'Ivoire basketball team enjoyed a golden era. Between 1978 and 1985, they appeared at five FIBA AfroBasket competitions, winning gold medals in two, finishing second in two more and coming fourth in the other. Their ultimate highlight came at the 1985 tournament, which they hosted. Here, they claimed gold in front of their home fans.
Since the turn of the century, Basketball Côte d'Ivoire has finished fourth twice and claimed two runners-up medals. They also won a silver medal at the 2023 FIBA AfroCan tournament.
How to Stream Côte d'Ivoire Men's Basketball
With Courtside 1891, worldwide fans can watch Côte d'Ivoire compete in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments (FOQTs) 2024. We stream every game of FIBA international tournaments as well as other competitions from around the world.
As FIBA’s premium streaming partner for the World Cup, Courtside 1891 provided access to every 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup game! Watch the competition's biggest games and best moments on-demand on our FIBA Basketball World Cup page.
The best way to make sure that you never miss a single second of the upcoming action is to download our app, which is available on the App Store and Google Play, or sign up to our website platform. Please be aware that, due to broadcasting rights and restrictions, access to some games might be restricted depending on your location. See our where-to-watch page for full details of upcoming competitions.
Looking for the latest results from the world of basketball? Head over to the Courtside 1891 Game Center. Here you’ll also find matchup times in your country as well as easy-to-access game highlights you can watch when you register with Courtside 1891.