PUERTO MONTT (2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) – Sara Massoud was a happy young lady following her team’s final game at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, a 94-73 loss to Argentina in the Classification Round.
While her Egyptian team may not have won a game in their debut on the U19 world stage and finished in 15th place, as captain she feels all her players have learned a lot, that Egyptian basketball is much better for the experience, and well placed for the future.
Massoud led the team in assists and steals, while the young athletic duo of Hagar Amer and Hala Elshaarawy led the scoring and rebounding respectively.
Sara took time to chat to fiba.com about her time in Chile.
FIBA: Sara, good game tonight, how have you enjoyed the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women?
Massoud: It’s great to be playing at a world championship, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to prepare for it because of the revolution. We have five girls who are (born in) 1994, preparing for the African cup next year, so it was a very good experience.
FIBA: Tell us a little more about Hagar Amer, she is very tall and athletic, scored 29 points tonight, and she looks like a player with great potential.
Massoud: She is a very good player. She was born in 1993 and she won the best rebounder at the African Cup this year.
FIBA: To get to Chile you had to win the 2010 FIBA U18 African Championship for Women, and you beat Nigeria by just one point on your home court in Cairo. What was that game like?
Massoud: It was a very good game, it was very tough compared to the other games we played. There was a lot of expectation for us to win the championship because it was in Egypt, and Nigeria had a very good number 9 (Magdalene Ukato) who was an amazing player. We had to guard her very closely, she was very good.
FIBA: What was the feeling like when the final buzzer went and you had won?
Massoud: It was our first time to ever win an African championship, so when we won everyone was jumping, it was amazing, it was a great experience.
FIBA: And how about when you got to Chile and attended the opening ceremony with all the big basketball nations, and then took the court for your first game?
Massoud: We were in shock at first, we didn’t know what to expect, and we didn’t know how good the players were, we had only watched them. We never expected to be in a world championship, but it was an amazing experience and we learned a lot. Hopefully the 1994 players will have the chance to play one more time in two years if they win the African championship.
FIBA: You said you have learned a lot at this tournament, what sticks in your mind as the most notable thing?
Massoud: I did, we all learned a lot. Most of all we learned the other teams are great shooters, all five players are great shooters. Other teams, all they’re players are great, they don’t just have one good player but five.
FIBA: What does the future hold for Sara Massoud?
Massoud: I really don’t know, I will have to see how it goes. I really hope to play for the senior women’s team. And I hope Egypt gets another chance to play at the world championship, it really was a great experience. It was a lot of fun!