Africabasket.com got the chance to talk to Francis Kabore (198-F), a talented forward out of Burkina Faso, who transfers to Tennessee Tech after a successful season at Gulf Coast Community College.
Africabasket: Burkina Faso is not a household name for exporting basketball players to other countries,
who difficult was it for you to convince people in the US to give you and the players that left with you for the US a chance?
Francis Kabore (198-F): For me it was a bit harder than for some of my compatriots. I decided to go to school,and I had a couple of chances to go to a four years college but there
is a TOEFL exam required by the colleges from all international students so I ended up at Gulf
Coast Community College. Regarding the other players,
,they were selected after a basketball camp that took place in South Africa.
AB: How difficult was it for you to adjust to the level of play in the States ? Acording to an arcticle written by a Burkinabe news-website, you and the other players went to the US to play in the NBA, how do you see your chances nowadays ?
FK: Nowadays, it is still difficult to make it to the NBA due to the extensive
number of talented kids from high schools and even from colleges. Also, you
have to either know somebody (agent) or really be a special player. Not that
I do not have some ambitions but I’m trying to be a bit more realistic. Innocent
Kere is an example for a player who shined and proved his ability to play at
the collegiate level (All African, two-time defensive player of the year) and
even could have gone to the NBA but somehow never made it.
AB: You did pretty well at Gulf Coast Community College, please describe the experience to study and play on a US college ,coming from a complete other background,like Burkina.
FK: My experience at Gulf Coast Community College was very meaningful for me
even if I did make some adjustments on both side basket and school. I struggled
a bit with the language which was very different from what I learned back in
high school. Finally, after a while I got used to it and I was selected as Academic All-American for this year.
On the other hand, it was pretty tough for me. College basketball was
much different from what I thought. Practice took most of my time as I
went from three practices a week to six or seven a week 2-3 practices each day. Also, I had to play
as a forward rather than a power forward or center like I use to back home.
I finally get to play as a power forward on my sophomore year.
AB: You are transferring to a 4-year school (Tennessee Tech), what are you planning to reach with your new team and what comes after those two years ?
FK: I’m a better defensive player than I am offensively, I think this is one
of the reasons that I was recruited by Tennessee Tech. I’m planning to be a
better offensive player and to help my team where they need me the most. Then I
will try to go pro in Europe.
AB: Where do you check for basketball news in the internet ?
FK: www.africabasket.com , www.eurobasket.com , www.espn.com and
www.google.com are the places where I check for basketball.
Africabasket.com wants to thank Francis for taking time to talk to us, we wish him an outstanding career whether its on the collegiate or the professional level.