Cummings-Price writes new chapter for female coaches at #AfroBasketWomen 2019

Cummings-Price writes new chapter for female coaches at #AfroBasketWomen 2019

DAKAR (Senegal) - Scribbling down notes in her book real quick while keeping an eye on the team practice session, Natosha Cummings-Price exudes the confidence and straight up seriousness of a lady in charge. 

Many around her do not know yet that she is the head coach of the Cameroon women's national basketball team that is competing in the ongoing FIBA Women's AfroBasket 2019 in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. 

She dons a green shirt with the wording Cameroon at the front while two gentlemen on either side of the court are dressed in the red version of the same shirt taking the ladies through the plays. 

These gentlemen are Hamed Njoya from Cameroon and Italian Stefano Bizzozi who themselves are former head coaches of the Lionesses and are currently her assistants. Cameroon are at the Dakar Arena to have a feel of the court before the tournament tips off. 

A gentleman seeking information on Cameroon asks for her help and requests her to point him to the head coach. She says, "That would be me."

His jaw drops and he nods in approval of this rather shocking revelation and indeed his genuine smile betrays his shock and at the same time tells of utmost respect to this woman who is rewriting history at this biennial competition in its 26th edition. 

This and even more are some of things that female coaches have to deal with in the world of sports - that women are not expected to hold positions of power in coaching let alone basketball coaching. 

When she took to the court side on Sunday as Cameroon defeated Tunisia in their opening tie at the tournament, her name went down as the first of her kind to be head coach at Africa's premier women's basketball event. 

This feat in itself comes at a time when several American female coaches are breaking barriers that they too can take up challenges in what has for a long time been seen as a no-go area for women. 

In an exclusive interview with FIBA.basketball, Cummings-Price said, "The sky is the limit of what we are capable of doing and what we can do especially when given the opportunity to show women in Africa, women from other countries as well as women in my country that we are just as good coaches as the men. My goal is to try and take Cameroon to a championship. I am not here to just meddle. I am here to win it all."

In front of their fans in Yaounde back in 2015, Cameroon finished second losing to Senegal 81-66 in a very tightly contested game never mind the 15-point difference in the end. This was their best performance since their debut in 1984 in Senegal when they finished as bronze medalists. 

On their 2019 return to the West Coast, Cameroon find themselves outside the serious title contenders if their 2017 performance finishing eighth in Mali is anything to go by. They are not Nigeria, the reigning champions and neither are they Senegal, the hosts and 12-time record winners of this prestigious event. 

Nevertheless, Cummings-Price is not mincing her words and insists that Cameroon are here to win the title and not to just participate in the competition. 

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