Nisré Zouzoua, who played for the Nevada basketball team from 2017-20, has been starring for the Ivory Coast national team at FIBA AfroBasket 2021.
Zouzoua is averaging 12 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.0 assists in 18.8 minutes per game at the tournament. He’s made 50 percent of his shots, including 47.1 percent from three.
Ivory Coast went 3-0 in the preliminary round with wins over Kenya (88-70), Mali (90-67) and Nigeria (77-68) to win Group C. The team plays Guinea in the quarterfinal round of the knockout stage on Wednesday. The championship game is scheduled for Sunday. The tournament is being held in Rwanda.
Ivory Coast is ranked No. 46 in the world in the FIBA rankings and is looking for its first AfroBasket championship since 1985. The country also won the event in 1981. The tournament is typically held every two years, although this is the first AfroBasket since 2017.
In addition to Ivory Coast and Guinea, the other quarterfinalists are Senegal, Angola, Cape Verde, Uganda, Tunisia and South Sudan.
After staring at Bryant, Zouzoua played for Nevada for two seasons, playing sparingly in 2018-2019 before being the Mountain West’s sixth man of the year the following season when he averaged 9.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game.
Zouzoua, who is from Brockton, Mass., started his pro career last season playing for Dax Gamarde, a semi-pro team in France. He averaged 19 points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Zouzoua is the third Wolf Pack alum to play for a national team this year, joining Tre'Shawn Thurman, who played for Team USA at the AmeriCup Qualifying Team in February, and JaVale McGee, who won a gold medal with Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this month.