Ramses Lonlack Joins Cameroon National Team For Pair of Tournaments
Aug 13, 2013
MEMPHIS - - On Monday, the Cameroon national women's basketball team gathered to open training camp in preparation for a pair of international tournaments in the next month. On Tuesday, the team was joined by former Memphis women's basketball player Ramses Lonlack, who left Memphis on Sunday for Cameroon via Chicago and Brussels. Lonlack, who enters her final semester at the University of Memphis this fall as a civil engineering major, will be making a second appearance with her national team, which is preparing for the Francophone Games, September 6-15th, and the Afrobasket tournament, Sept. 20-29th.
Lonlack, who recently completed her civil engineering internship in Nashville over the summer, was the 2012 C-USA Defensive Player of the Year and was a three-time all-defensive team honoree. She capped her four-year Memphis career with 1,166 points, 639 rebounds, 301 steals and 225 assists. Her 1,166 points ranked 17th at the time of her graduation and her 301 steals still ranks third in school history. She continues to hold the school record for games played (129), games started (123) and minutes played (3,958).
This is the second stint for Lonlack with the Cameroon senior national women's team. She tried to help the team qualify for the 2012 London Olympics through the Afrobasket tournament, but the team fell just short of making it as a qualifier to the tournament field.
This go round with the Cameroon team starts with two training camps for Lonlack. She joins the team on Tuesday in Yaounde, Cameroon, then, on August 25th, the team will continue training camp in Nice, France, in preparation for the games there. The Francophone Games are held once every four years in the post-Olympic year. This year's games are being played in Nice for countries who speak French. The games rotate between a northern and southern site. The next games, in 2017, will be held in the Ivory Coast in Abidjan. A complete list of invited countries for this year's Francophone Games is here: https://www.jeux.francophonie.org/?-Les-Etats-invites-&act=liste.
The Afrobasket tournament will begin on Sept. 20th for team Cameroon, when they face Kenya in the first round. That will be followed by games against Mali (Sept. 21st), Cape Verde (Sept. 22), Angola (Sept. 24) and Nigeria (Sept. 25). This year's Afrobasket tournament will be played in Maputo, Mozambique. Mali is the top-ranked women's team in Africa (17th overall), followed by Senegal (20th), Angola (23rd) and Nigeria (26th). Cameroon's women's national team is currently ranked seventh in Africa and 52nd in the FIBA rankings.
The national team stint is an important one for Lonlack, not only for the rare trip home, but for the opportunity to determine if basketball is part of her post-graduate future. She has continued to train on her own over the past year in preparation for her post-college career. But having recently completed a civil engineering internship, she could be choosing between a possible professional basketball career, or a civil engineering job, possibly venturing back to her native Cameroon to help build infrastructure in her home nation.