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Interview: Mo Tangara - Oct 20, 2011

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Mohamed Tangara (208-F/C-84, agency: Dynamics Global Management, college: Arizona) the 610 (2m8), 242 pound (111kg) basketball player from Mali and the USA, has played as a power forward/center in Spain and around the world. Mohamed Tangara started his basketball career at Mount Zion Christian Academy in North Carolina, USA. He then moved to the University of Arizona, from 2004-2008 to play at one of the top basketball programs in the NCAA, under hall of fame coach Lute Olson. Tangara then finished his college career at Chaminade University. He began his professional career during the NBA summer league with the Milwaukee Bucks and went on to play in the Middle East and later Spain. Tangara has been a member of the Mali National team since 2000 as a junior player until 2007. He then started playing with the Senior National Team. Most recently he was named the captain of the Mali Senior National Team during the 2011 FIBA Afro basket tournament.

How do you feel after Afro basket?
Overall it was a good experience. To be able to represent my country and play against some of the top teams from Africa in this tournament was amazing. I had a chance to go against some good big men and feel competitive in the tournament. Mali national team is under construction. I believe we will be back, even stronger, in 2013 and I hope my country can even host the next Afrobasketball tournament in 2013. I feel very proud to have been given the chance to represent my country. Once again I keep improving my game and working on my talent. I ranked in the top 3 centers in scoring of the 2011 Afrobasketball games, top 5 all around rebounder and top 19 all around scoring for all positions. My average was 12ppg 8.4 rebounds per game.

You played at a high level, but perhaps the team was not as good as expected?
We had a little bit of a young team and also not that much time to practice together as a whole. We did face some challenges, but overall I thought the team gave it everything we had and did our best to represent Mali as players. I believe in the future we will be ranked higher and keep working to always do our best.

Fortune has not been by your side, nevertheless, have continued working hard, why? Many people in your place would have been paid
I am going to keep working hard no matter what. I believe in my talent and that I can play at a high level. Soon the right team will find me and I will showcase my talent, help them win, and get paid. It is just a matter of time and having the right people working with you.

Last season was very difficult for you. How are you now?
I am doing fine, I can't complain. I am healthy and surrounded by good people that support me, which is the most important thing. Challenges will always surface and you have to face them! The market is hard right now, but I just keep working out and playing hard to stay in shape until I get that phone call from a team and agent!

Would you like to return to Spain this season?

For sure! I would love to return to Spain, but not at a low level. I had a great tournament in the 2011 FIBA Africa games and I feel like I have worked hard and proven myself to rise above the level I was playing at before. I do really miss the Spanish Tortilla though and the people of Spain. I made great friends that helped me with my project to support young athletes and education in Mali, and found the fans to be supportive and fun! I think the Spanish league is one of the best in Europe and I definitely hope to be back there one day!   

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Borislav STANKOVIC - FIBA Secretary General Emeritus (Photo: FIBA)
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