KAMPALA, Uganda (WBKO) --- Raneem Elgedawy and Meral Abdelgawad are set to begin their stint with the Egyptian national team as AfroBasket Zone 5 qualifying gets underway inside Uganda's Lugogo Indoor Arena on Wednesday.
Egypt will be joined by 10 other nations, including host Uganda, Somalia, Sudan and Kenya among others in the Zone 5 qualifying tournament. The winner of the round-robin format event will receive automatic qualification into AfroBasket 2019, set to be hosted by Senegal in August.
The Egyptian Lady Topper duo are believed to be the first WKU basketball athletes to represent their senior national team while enrolled at the university.
Both have previously seen playing time for the Egyptian senior national team, a two-time winner of AfroBasket (as the United Arab Republic) in 1966 and 1968. Egypt has finished in the top eight in each of the last three competitions, including a seventh-place finish in the most recent edition in 2017, the nation's best result since 2000.
Elgedawy and Abdelgawad helped to lead the Lady Toppers to a 20-15 record in 2018-19, reaching the semifinals of the C-USA Tournament before earning a pair of wins over Miami (Ohio) and Morehead State in the Postseason WNIT.
A Second Team All-C-USA performer, Elgedawy averaged 15.4 points and a team-best 7.7 rebounds last season while also blocking 29 shots to build on her 2017-18 C-USA Freshman of the Year campaign. Elgedawy was named the C-USA Player of the Week for the first time in her career on Jan. 21 after dominant showings at FIU and Florida Atlantic, putting up 26.5 points and 12.5 boards across the two contests.
Abdelgawad turned in a strong freshman season in her debut on The Hill, starting all 35 games and earning a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team. She was named the C-USA Freshman of the Week three times, tied for the second-most among all league freshmen, and was WKU's top first-year player in scoring (8.1), rebounds (2.3) and assists (1.4) per game.