Ouagadougou (FBBB) - Married with two children, Mohamed Drabo was elected on 23 December 2004 as the new president of the Burkina Faso Basketball Federation. Drabo made his first basketball steps in Côte D'Ivoire as a player. In 1986 he returned to his native country, Burkina Faso, to play successively for RCK, AS Sonabel and the Kadiogo Bulls clubs before putting an end to his career in 1996.
His international career was punctuated by an East-African University title and many selections to the National Team.
Not willing to leave the court, Drabo jumped to the coaching side of basketball shortly after retirement. In 2003 his coaching career peaked as he led the team of Dafra Roc Kets from Bobo Dioulasso to a national championship title.
His love for the game recently pushed him to engage himself into a more political role. Looking at the crisis which basketball in Burkina Faso was going under, Drabo presented himself at the recent Federation elections. His determination and motivation paid off in December 2004 as he received major support from most of the Burkina Faso basketball family.
In an exclusive interview conducted by FIBA Official Correspondent Sylvain N. O. Zingué, Mohamed Drabo reveals his feelings, projects and views about his new activities.
Mohamed Drabo (MD): The recent crisis within the Burkino Faso Basketball community drove me to where I am now. We thought that we could contribute to bring back basketball where it should normally stand. Thus with a group of retired players we decided to take up the challenge, thinking that we could have a positive effect on the game in Burkina Faso.
FIBA: You received a lot of support from the community. How do you feel about it?
MD: It is great! This gives us more strength and courage to start of future projects. We have a lot of work ahead of us, it won't be easy but we will stick to it.
FIBA: Tell us a little bit more about your Board.
MD: The new Board is composed of very competent and dynamic persons. I am more than convinced that everyone will bring something positive during this mandate. We will play as a team!
FIBA: Do you know what is expected from you?
MD: If we consider the potential of great player in our country, our first duty will be to develop more competitions including a good championship and international tournaments. Then we will concentrate on developing a good image for our sport. Those two activities are our top priorities.
FIBA: What is your program for 2005?
MD: Our action plan is divided into 4 goals:
- To instigate basketball all over Burkina Faso
- To regularly participate to international events in order to hoist our basketball on the African and global scene
- To contribute to the development and promotion of the game
- To give more activity to our basketball clubs
FIBA: Which are the major difficulties ahead of you?
MD: It's to organize an interesting championship, to participate to the 2005 FIBA Africa Championship and also to manage to develop at least 5 more clubs outside Bobo and Ouaga before the end of our mandate.
FIBA: Do you already have partners? If yes, which one(s)?
MD: Apart from the Sport and Leisure Minister we have no other partners for now. We hope that our program will attract interest in the near future.
FIBA: What do you intend to do to improve the situation?
MD: We are already in contact with potential partners.
FIBA: What about international partnerships?
MD: We are willing to solidify our partnership with FIBA, in order to receive supports for everything linked to material and development. We are a poor country so we need external help to develop basketball to an acceptable level.
FIBA: What personal touch do you i